Friday, January 18, 2008

THE DESPAIR BUDGET

I hope I am not overdrawing our despair budget with all this. I really am an optimist, and I have hope for the future. But there's a lot of work that needs to be done, and we must get started now.Says a critic of the idea of polar cities: "As I've stated before, the idea may well have merit in the field of science fiction. If, because the rest of the world is becoming uninhabitable, it ever has any future as a practical proposition then it is in the nature of power that the rich and powerful will see it as their best hope, so they will leave the powerless to die outside any polar cities. Before taking your ideas aout polar cities any further, you might want to take a little time to study what happens when entire populations are uprooted due to natural disasters, such as floods and famine. The very old, the very young, the ill, the disabled and others vulnerable within the population invariably come out worst and usually not alive. Your polar cities idea will never work, except for the rich and powerful who will own them and control them and decide who is allowed to live in them. I don't like this vision of things to come. Count me out!"

4 comments:

dan said...

Here's one opinion about the future:

"I think it pretty much goes without saying that quite a lot of the paved areas of the world will be reclaimed very quickly. If global warming makes humankind extinct. Particularly in areas of heavy vegetation.

The Las Vegas Strip could last as long as the pyamids.

Can you imagine alien visitors coming to earth 5000 years after mankind has departed? They would see the Pyramids of egypt and the Luxor in Vegas and wonder that the architecture of humans did not change in 5000 years!

It's also fairly certain that any future visitors to our planet would find plenty of other proof of our existence, even for many thousands of years after we're gone.

Mt. Rushmore, the Pyramids, Crazy Horse monument, the geoglyphs of Peru, will all stand the test of a LOT of time, but the earth is, and will presumably still be, a living planet, which means that new life will over-run the remnants of old life. plants will sprout and eventually break the pavement and concrete, towers will crumble, bridges will fall, and the earth will absorb many of the traces of man.

What species might evolve to dominate the food chain is anyone's guess. It could be many millions of years before intelligent life returns, or it may never return.

I guess only one thing is certain. That which is left alive will live much closer to nature."

dan said...

Another poster said:

"As the wise George Carlin once said "Save the Earth? What arrogance! The Earth is gonna shake us off like a bad case of fleas!"

No matter what we do to it, the Earth will always find balance. We just may not be here to enjoy it."



Trigcove then said:


"That George Carlin... what a joker.

He's basically right, though. If the earth (nature) wants us gone, we will be gone. Quickly.

A solar panel and a bicycle won't change it.

If it wants us here, we'll stay.

An SUV and a coal-burning iron mill won't matter. "

dan said...

And this:

"The question isn't "what will man do to survive global warming," it's "what will life be like when man is no longer around." The reason that man is not around doesn't enter into the question.

Beyond that, global warming is a natural climate occurrance. When the earth is coming out of an ice age, the planet warms. When it enters an ice age, it cools. This has been happening since the advent of oceans and atmosphere. You may wish to illustrate that man is the cause of these warming/cooling trends, but it's been happening since long before there was man.

In the long ago, there was an ice age that was very nearly an extinction event. It almost killed every living organism on earth and left earth as an orbiting ice cube for eternity. There was nothing that man could have done about that then and there's nothing that man could do about it now if nature's scales should tip that way.

If the scales of nature should tip this current warming trend into another near-extinction event, there is nothing that man will be able to do to stop it this time, either.

As for what life would be like without man, I think watching the History Channel TV program will give us a very good picture of what that would be like.

the Cats will rule the world, because they can eat cockroaches. "

Anonymous said...

Daneil Bell says on Dot Earth:

"I have a father who is the perfect foil for this discussion. He is a religious conservative who denies global warming and evolution. If you’ve read Frank’s ''What’s the Matter with Kansas'', you’ll know him. He is a former teacher and belongs to a union, yet votes against his economics for republicans every time. Every time I try to explain these scientific reports to him, it just won’t get through.

This is a corollary to the national discussion. Increasingly accurate, accepted, and dire warnings have been sounded by the scientific and environmental communities for nearly two decades. To be fair, the discourse in politics is finally steering towards reality. Yet, global warming / the environment still rank among the bottom of voter’s concerns. And even for those voters (us) who rank it at the top, you’d never know it from the hideous lack of coverage by the mainstream television media. (whataretheywaitingfor.com - top 5 pundits - 3 thousand questions - 4 on global warming)

So, the message of catastrophe refuses to be heard, regardless of its factual basis. The book Breakthrough (death of environmentalism) helps to frame this issue. Whatever your take on that book, I think its clear that message has to be positive and integral to succeed. Positive in that clearly shows the benefits to our economy and society. And integral in that the environmental message is inseperable from messages about health care, the economy, transportation, etc. In the book Natural Capitalism the authors speak of a politics of synthesis. We’re all going to have to figure out that the whole thing is interconnected before we can address the “issue” of global warming - which could be defined as symptom of all our other societal issues.

I see the new clean energy economy as the potential for our society to return to the economic growth and social progression of the post war era. Renewable energy provides four times the employment of equivalent fossil energy(see Ecology of Commerce.) Green collar jobs should lift all boats in a rising tide. When people own their own energy (solar panels), and can power their own homes and cars, then they get to keep their money in the local community and increase the local multiplier. When we send money to big oil and king coal, that money gets filtered upward into a top-down corporate hegemony that keeps money out of local communities.

When people feel more secure they tend to be more generous and altruistic. Moving toward a clean energy economy will create positive feedback loops that which will increase our wealth, health, and security.

The question is, can you get this positive message to people without scaring them? I think you have to get scared before they are motivated to re-imagine the world. Yet, you won’t sustain that movement without a positive vision.

[one number is the sum of human actions and the signpost of our fate - carbon’s number ]

— Daniel Bell, http://carbonsnumber.blogspot.com