I can remember when I was a kid back in the 50’s there used to be an old man walking the streets in Cowansville, Quebec that continually protested something. Once a week he would carry a sign with banners hanging from it declaring that the world would end soon. My environmental studies then consisted of information that thunder was caused by the Gods bowling and now today’s parents tell their kids it’s those vampire kids from Twilight playing baseball.
Yesterday, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report were canceled because of Hurricane Sandy, and that alone must mean the world is coming to an end. Is this just the beginning of disasters yet to come? The Mayan calendarprediction is the world “as we know it” will end on December 21, but I don’t think any of us will die. Personally I believe that something will happen to simultaneously change everything we know: the way we look at science, politics, and even technology will advance very quickly in the 12 months that follow.
Many on this earth seems to be in denial, otherwise we would be working feverishly on replacing all private automobiles and freight carriers with electric railroads powered by green energy. Today, there is another multibillion-dollar weather disaster – the very sort that scientists have been predicting for years would increase in frequency and intensity as the planet heats up. Frankly I wish the non-believers, like the Koch brothers that argue about climate disruption, were tied to a Jersey boardwalk rail right now next to the ocean surge. Even for the those on the Titanic, it took quite awhile, but the grim reality of their situation sank in.
How anyone can deny global warming defies all reason. Farmers, ranchers, insurance agents, and others whose income are linked to the weather and climate see it quite clearly. The irony is that the two presidential candidates have not been focused on climate change, and now they are seeing the climate speak to them.
I understand why big coal and the oil industry argues against climate change as the tobacco industry insisted that smoking wasn’t bad for you either. The bottom line is that climate change will not be seriously addressed until it starts to cut into profits. They won’t care about flooding in Asia that kills millions, deserts growing in South America, or melting ice caps, but a quarterly loss might get their attention. There are 7 billion people with a dependence on fossil fuels which equals an unprecedented ecological situation. Maybe the insurance companies will end up forcing us to deal with global warming.
Chicken Little never consulted science but global warming’s first effects are beginning to happen with the hottest year on record and now Hurricane Sandy. So far every estimate of climate change has happened sooner than projected.
If Mother Nature were a conscience I would say that Hurricane Sandy is personally weighing in on the American election. A warning, an advertisement, prodding people to believe that pollution will destroy her ability to keep them alive. The Mayans didn’t even foresee the end of their own empire and extinction means never having to say,”I’m sorry.”