Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I've alluded to this feeling before, but it has persisted - in spades. It's the unrelenting sense of things getting more wrong, more aggressively bizarre by the day. It's not anxiety, exactly; at least not free-floating anxiety. It's more like a hard knot in my core, and it gets heavier with just about everything I read lately. Maybe you have the same sense.

We're experiencing a "Planetary Emergency", but many people in the U.S. apparently don't have a clue:

 Drawing on new data on the rate of melting arctic ice released Wednesday by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), leading scientific experts and environmental campaigners upped the level of alarm and issued a renewed call to action by calling the growing reality of climate change a "planetary emergency".

 The NSIDC reports shows that the melted areas of Arctic sea ice had not only hit a record low this year, but that it had dramatically receded to levels not previously anticipated. NSIDC director Mark Serreze expressed shock by the center's data, declaring “we are now in uncharted territory”.

Kumi Naidoo, the international head of Greenpeace, which held a public forum on Wednesday in New York to discuss the climate change crisis, described the efforts to curb greenhouse emissions and the race to save the Arctic as "the defining environmental battle of our era".
 The ice report from NSIDC, coupled with reams of growing evidence about human-caused climate change, said Naidoo, "represents a defining moment in human history."

"In just over 30 years we have altered the way our planet looks from space," he said, "and soon the North Pole may be completely ice free in summer. Rather than dealing with the root causes of climate change the current response from our leaders is to watch the ice melt and then divide up the spoils."

 Naidoo was joined by other prominent figures, including author and co-founder of Bill McKibben, who said the global response to the rapidly melting ice of the arctic ice sheets and glaciers has been exactly opposite to what's needed. Instead of responding with "alarm, or panic, or a sense of emergency" he said, the response "has been: 'Let's go up there and drill for oil'. There is no more perfect indictment of our failure to get to grips with the greatest problem we've ever faced."

This is the very definition of insanity. Massive greed, massive ignorance, and massive selfishness are resulting in a planet that in short order is likely going to be unlivable. The domino effect from various elements of the ecosystem collapsing will create a cascade of "unforseen consequences", that will in turn spiral into other disastrous effects, and so on.

And our "leaders"....sweet pygmy jeebus on toast, could we possibly have a more useless set of tools pretending they work for us? Our electoral system is just a sad, utterly corrupted farce. Chris Hedges lays out the reality:

We will all swallow our cup of corporate poison. We can take it from nurse Romney, who will tell us not to whine and play the victim, or we can take it from nurse Obama, who will assure us that this hurts him even more than it hurts us, but one way or another the corporate hemlock will be shoved down our throats. The choice before us is how it will be administered. Corporate power, no matter who is running the ward after January 2013, is poised to carry out U.S. history’s most savage assault against the poor and the working class, not to mention the Earth’s ecosystem. And no one in power, no matter what the bedside manner, has any intention or ability to stop it. 

Hedges also  reminds us that, Obama, while promising to defend Social Security, also says he stands behind the planned cuts outlined by his deficit commission, headed by Morgan Stanley board member Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson, a Wyoming Republican. The Bowles-Simpson plan calls for cutting 0.3 percentage points from the annual cost-of-living adjustment in the Social Security program. The annual reduction would slowly accumulate. After a decade it would mean a 3 percent cut. After two decades it would mean a 6 percent cut. The retirement age would be raised to 69. And those on Social Security who continued to work and made more than $40,000 a year would be penalized with further reductions. Obama’s payroll tax cuts have, at the same time, served to undermine the solvency of Social Security, making it an easier target for the finance corporations that seek to destroy the program and privatize the funds.

Then we have have the monumental issue of Israel and U.S. neocons chompin' at the bit to get a little WWIII started. And at the rate they're instigating, posturing, threatening, and inflaming, that will be any day now. At the very least, a strike on Iran would have devastating results on a multitude of levels. The worse case scenario is unthinkable. And probably not survivable for most existing life, including us. But what are millions of citizens agitated about this week? Bad calls by temp refs. 

 Last and definitely least, I'm also watching a disturbing number of fellow 'merkuns display their rabid brand of ignorance, which seems to be increasing exponentially. You know the type: They vociferously insist that people without medical coverage should just be allowed to die (unless they're embryo-people, of course). And on occasion they express their psychotic desire to kill anyone who doesn't share their beliefs, values, or political party. In spite of having  a corporate-controlled mainstream media that's worse than Pravda ever was, the aforementioned wingnuts whine nonstop about the "liberal media." If only!

So now you see where the dense lump of dread in my gut comes from! What about your lump? Any ideas about how we transform the lumps into actionable revolution?


Blogger Dredd said...

I made this comment on another blog recently:

"RE: Arctic Oil-Drilling Delays Allow Time for a Safety Review
and 100 million to die by 2030 if world fails to act on climate

Reading these two headlines together makes me think of When You Are Governed By Psychopaths

Let me add to that: a rational, sane, and wise revolution is ineffective against psychopaths who have firm control on the levers of power.

This is new territory requiring new ideas, probably limited to saving some of our species for the next civilization ... a better civilization that knows, all the way to the core, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

In the past we quoted that truism now and then, but we never realized how true it is, so we lapsed into trusting those who power was slowly corrupting into psychopaths.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

Dredd, your linked post (and the series) is excellent and SO relevant to this discussion!

You make a critically important observation that "a rational, sane, and wise revolution is ineffective against psychopaths who have firm control on the levers of power.

This is new territory requiring new ideas, probably limited to saving some of our species for the next civilization ... a better civilization that knows, all the way to the core, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Perhaps there will be enough surviving information about our civilization that can serve as a huge flashing warning sign for future human cultures - if any.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Father Tyme said...

These "Climate Criminals" (Gaius Publius over at Americablog) are parasites - like a cancer.

They are so greedy using up the "body" they don't realize they're going to kill themselves.

Of course, they're hoping (or praying to their Wall Street gawds) the science they so enjoyably deny will come to their rescue so they can continue. Too bad. It ain't gonna happen.

3:00 PM  

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