Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"The Road" movie from Cormac McCarthy and the Need for Polar Cities Planning Now

"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy and the Need for Polar Cities Planning Now

See polar cities link here:

MOVIE DEBUT: November 26, 3008

Although Cormac McCarthy's novella "The Road" is not about global warming or climate change per se, it's stark message is clear: if we as a civilization do not prepare for worst-case scenarios of global warming impact events in the far distant future, say 2121 or 2424, humankind might end up like the characters in CM's rivetting book.

Some people might hear about the book and decide not to read it, saying: "Oh, I can't read this stuff. I bury my head in the sand because there is nothing I can do about these things."

But if you read "The Road", all 267 pages of it, you will come away haunted by its images and its prose. Cormac McCarthy has nailed this one. While it is not about global warming or polar cities, it IS a wake up call about the direction that human civilization is going on. In the book, the dystopia results from some kind of nuclear blast or comet striking the Earth that blots out the sun and throws soot everywhere, and leaves billions of people DEAD.

This is how it happened in the book: "A long shear of light and then a series of low concussions."

And this, from the book's opening lines: "Nights dark beyond darkness
and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the
onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world."

And this: The long concrete sweeps of the interstate exchanges like the ruins of
a vast funhouse against the distant murk . . . The mummied dead
everywhere. The flesh cloven along the bones, the ligaments dried to
tug and taut as wire . . . The only thing that moved in the streets
was blowing ash. They crossed the high concrete bridge over the river.
A dock below. Small pleasure boats half sunken in the gray water. Tall
stacks downriver amid the soot.

In my own personal reading of the book, it's a real warning shout about what might happen come The Troubles in 2500 AD - what others have called The Great Interruption - when glboal warming's more catastrophic impact events force humanity into northward-mass migrations towards Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Russia - leaving the rest of the world behind.

So polar cities, while just a series of images on a computer screen now, could really happen. James Lovelock told me in an email: "[Polar cities] may very well happen and soon."

"The Road" could very well be about the road north as people make their tragic and frightened way towards polar cities in the year 2500 or so. Maybe sooner. I want to be generous with the date for now. No need to scare people.

Read CM's book as a foretelling of what's coming down the road, maybe. Forget the Pulitzer Prize citation. "The Road" deserves another kind of prize, a more important prize: our undivided attention!

Will scenes like this - from the book - be replayed in polar cities of the future? Will residents of polar cities also be "carrying the fire" within them?

We're going to be okay, arent we Papa?
Yes. We are.
And nothing bad is going to happen to us.
That's right.
Because we're carrying the fire.
Yes. Because we're carrying the fire.

Or this:

"In the morning they came out of the ravine and took to the road
again. He'd carved the boy a flute from a piece of roadside cane and
he took it from his coat and gave it to him. The boy took it
wordlessly. After a while the man could hear him playing. A formless
music for the age to come. Or perhaps the last music on earth called
up from out of the ashes of its ruin. The man turned and looked back
at him. He was lost in concentration. The man thought he seemed some
sad and solitary changeling child announcing the arrival of a
traveling spectacle in shire and village who does not know that behind
him the players have all been carried off by wolves."

Or this:

"Years later he'd stood in the charred ruins of a library where
blackened books lay in pools of water. Shelves tipped over. Some rage
at the lies arranged in their thousands row on row. He picked up one
of the books and thumbed through the heavy bloated pages. He'd not
have thought the value of the smallest thing predicated on a world to
come. It surprised him. That the space which these things occupied was
itself an expectation. He let the book fall and took a last look
around and made his way out into the cold gray light."

And this!

No. Of course not.
Even if we were starving?
We're starving now.
You said we weren't.
I said we weren't dying. I didn't say we weren't starving.
But we wouldn't.
No. We wouldn't.
No matter what.
No. No matter what.
Because we're the good guys.
And we're carrying the fire.
And we're carrying the fire. Yes.

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