The Imminent Threat
Here is part of a nice piece by Jan Lundburg of Culture Change . I have clipped the opening:
"When people unite to fight a great, imminent threat, as I predict we will, as events and developments accelerate, there will be rapid progress towards addressing problems. This may occur concurrently with desperate and antisocial behavior especially as fuel and food shortages strike.
The climate's active distortion seems about to painfully kick many more people "upside the head like a two-by-four," as Julia Butterfly characterized the common stubbornness to overdue change.
Perhaps the most succinct example for humanity's getting to the root, and rejecting time-wasting "solutions" that are half-measures at best, is to now bypass the Kyoto Protocol and bring about an 80% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil fuels since 1990 levels. This was advised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the early 1990s. Their recommended 60-80% range of immediate curtailment was advanced clearly enough, but has become part of our tragic inaction that now requires ratcheting up the appropriate response.
So the 60% reduction is probably too little and too late. Is 90% the real goal, and will petrocollapse take us to 95% or higher?
Calling for the lowest possible reductions in emissions is not alarmist anymore, as climate models cannot seem to keep up with the unraveling of the climate system. 2006 was the hottest year recorded in the United States. This is the latest from the Bush Administration which seems to be unmuzzling climate scientists who have tried to point a finger at human-caused warming, according to the New York Times of January 10, 2007.
One may ask, who are the leaders for the unity we need, and what is the plan for implementing unity immediately? The leaders are really all of us. For it is the attitude of "Let George do it" (an expression preceding the Bushes), or the misapprehension that we do not have much individual or collective power to change society drastically, that can and will be jettisoned when people see that their own Katrina disaster is hitting, and hitting all of us everywhere.
Climate change may be the only global threat to ever grab everyone's awareness, making humanity realize it is all in the same boat; there is no escape. The false unity of settling for the tiny improvement of an election of the pro-corporate business Democrats, for example, will soon -- thanks to climate events and science -- be seen for what it is.
Instead of accepting the government/corporate party line, unity of the spirit and of honest action to protect the climate will take interesting forms as values quickly evolve. This period just ahead will make the 1960s' changes in awareness and lifestyle look like slow baby-steps.
At some point very soon, maybe this year, we will all acknowledge that our future is so compromised by our economics and consumer lifestyle that we cannot keep hiding our heads in the sand. From righting these tragic errors, we can visualize many more steps that address the threat to our survival and the future of the world. " more
Last night, we went out to dinner and ate our fine meal,
and drank our good wine.
We talked about Bush and his surge.
We talked about his threats towards Iran and Syria.
We talked about GM's new Volt and how important it is.
We talked about the new movie the Children of Men,
and how freaking depressing and realistic it probably is.
My dinner pal had just come back from Phoenix
where he had attended a convention of his real estate colleagues.
The best speaker, he said, was the father of modern Las Vegas,
Steve Wynn, the developer of Wynn Las Vegas,
the new multibillion dollar resort there in the Axis of Sin.
One thing that Wynn remarked about was the remarkable level
of upper income spending.
Wynn has a night club that is open four nights a week from 11 to three.
And it grosses 35 million dollars a year.
Just to sit at a table, you need to fork over a grand
for the bubbly.
Clearly, the really rich people in this world are richer.
This would include most of our leaders and decisionmakers.
And that brings me back to Lundburg and his Imminent Threat.
Unfortunately, most of the people who are driving our train,
with their own worth,
with their sense of entitlement,
and their thousand dollar bubbly.
The rest of us are either
mildly sedated with our own comforts,
or a little lazy,
or a tad tired,
or perhaps too close to retirement,
to get too excited about what we see and what we hear.
Yet, all the while, the imminent threat is there,
Meanwhile, the playoffs are on.
But even though I tend to agree that "we will wake up".
I can't help but wonder with Walt that the Imminent Threat
is not really climate change, or resource depletion, or the rise of Fascism,
It is us.
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