Saturday, November 30, 2019

A Death We Can Survive

It occurred to me just recently that the world's inability to actually respond to the climate change emergency should not be considered odd or irrational or perhaps even insane. Rather, it is the natural response of any organism that upon understanding that some day it will die, uses it's creative power to manage that understanding.

Humans especially.

We have learned that in order to keep the thought of our impending demise from destroying our ability to enjoy the life that we have, we as the mafia phrase goes, "Forget About It".  We forget about it by inventing a belief system that we don't really die, but rather, we will translate our consciousness into another realm called heaven or the happy hunting ground or wherever.  Or, we will add our life of experience into a soul field that will reincarnate into another individuated life form at some future time.  Clearly, our rational fear of death brings about arguably irrational belief systems and behaviors.

Few of us are able to make the knowledge of our mortal end an ally in our path through this field of light and time.  Making death an ally is a rare trait and gift.

And so it is true of the knowledge of the death of our civilization, at least as we know it.  Some of us simply ignore it, some of us come up with elaborate schemes to marginalize its reality, some believe that the same God that will take them to heaven will handle it without their active response to deal with it.

Death, whether individual or civilizational is a tough thing to digest.  Yet, most of us go to doctors when we get sick.  Some of us go to our doctors early and do what we should to avoid sickness.  Many of us eat less meat, avoid fatty fast foods, and get enough sleep so our bodies can repair themselves as we rest. We do this to remain healthy.

Some of us do something similar with our world body.  We go to city council meetings, we march every now and then, and some of us go to large global meetings sponsored by the UN or C 40.  This from the Guardian:

"The World's governments will meet in Madrid this December to discuss the climate emergency, it has been confirmed, after a last minute intervention by the Spanish government to save the talks.

The Conference had been set to take place in Santiago, Chile, but the government of President Sebastian Pinera decided on Wednesday to call it off because of the unrest in the capital.  Scores of people have been killed and injured in weeks of rioting over economic inequality and social problems.

After Chile withdrew, there was concern that the annual talks might have to be scaled down, postponed or even abandoned.

However, on Friday afternoon, the UN's top official on climate change, Patricia Espinosa, issued a terse statement that COP 25 would go ahead on the original dates, 2-13 December, but in Madrid.

Scientific warnings have become increasingly insistent that time is running out to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stave off the worst damages of global heating. But international negotiation under the UN have been slow and plagued by upsets and backsliding, such as the US plans to withdraw from the Paris agreement, Brazil's rejection of its commitments by President Jair Bolsonaro, and the rise of political populism in other regions."

The big thing at these talks is to try to come up with the most rational and fair approach that the governmental community can devise to account for the rather large reality that in the world economic system right now, it is legal to emit chemicals and climate changing gases into our common air without paying a tax or a fine or even a tipping fee.  Imagine a city where everyone simply discharges their human waste right on the street.  You don't have to imagine it in some cities today.

Should we limit CO2 emissions by country or by per capita?  China may emit the most with their large population, but in terms of per capita emissions, each Chinese citizen emits 5 tons of carbon while each American is responsible for almost 20 tons.

Political strategies range from a carbon tax to carbon trading to carbon sequestrations and combinations of them all.  Given that the Madrid Conference is sponsored by large, yet progressive energy companies like Iberdrola, it's not hard to imagine that progress will be at least slow.

But the world's scientists are telling us that this is an emergency.

Yet, I believe that most of us don't consider it that way.  It's more like death.

It's inevitable.  And there's not much we can do about it.

Or perhaps will do about it.

For example, if you know that the climate change emergency is real and you don't drive an electric car right now, you are missing an opportunity to show yourself, your family, and your friends that you  really do care about our world body...that you understand that only electric driving can be powered by carbon free electric power plants.

That the horsepowered world we have known for 100 years will and must pass on.

It will be a death we can survive.

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