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Posts Tagged ‘BlogActionDay 2009’

SkeletonThis commentary is part of Blog Action Day 2009. For more information please visit www.blogactionday.org

Thousands of top scientists from around the world have warned us. They have been out front, these researchers, these value neutral scientists. Any sane person can read about the dire scenarios of climate change. Maybe one half of all species will go extinct. The western United States is not immune. Forests are dying, fires are burning, water is drying.

Even more saddening for our species, millions of people—especially poor people—will suffer, even die, as a direct result of heat and drought and floods and diseases. This suffering will compound itself, as global political instability spreads in a nightmare scenario that so darkly clouds the human prospect.

My conclusion is that in one big area of the brain we are not sane at all. No, I’m not talking of hopeless nonentities like those senators who claim climate change is one big conspiracy. I’m talking of supposedly reasonable folks like you and me, of reasonable, liberal politicians who cannot vote for even a modest climate bill like the one passed by the House. I’m talking of an enlightened administration who cannot act with urgency to bring a sweeping plan to the Copenhagen world climate summit this December. I’m talking about villainous but smart industries who take out full page ads to fight even tiny actions on climate change.

A sane human and certainly a dumb animal can sense danger. After all, that’s how we have evolved. We are told that the human sense of forward planning was one mental capability that allowed survival in pretty dangerous environments. And we are told that human socialization abilities, our sometimes death resulting sacrifices for the good of the group or clan, further advanced our survival and the development of our large brains, our ability to reason and to plan. After all this evolutionary struggle preparing our species for survival, can we be so dumb as to let a runaway climate catastrophe ruin the very environment we have prospered in over 100,000 years, to let human activity literally bring down whole elements of the life-world?

In a very literal sense, let’s hope sanity will return, even in this late phase of planetary crisis. Let’s hope that we finally listen to the better angels of our evolutionary inheritance.

So far the news is bad, and the day is very late. A kind of civilizational insanity, a denial that things are really headed for a future of potentially nightmare proportions has embedded itself our country’s and other country’s mentality.

And we talk about Homeland Security.

Stanley Euston


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