Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Still waiting....

The very first post I ever produced for public consumption (all three of you) was a little embittered. In waiting for the old people to die I painted a picture of the world as I saw it. Full of injustice and entrenched complacency. I have not really softened, but my views have changed. I am no longer embittered when I think about the generation that is in power currently. The truth is I feel very sorry for them.

The paradigm they live in is one where the single biggest economic driver is killing us. Petroleum was a boom for the development of our nation. I have been reading "The Prize" by Daniel Yergin, and it is hard to not feel a certain sympathy for those who strove their entire lives to build such an extensive and powerful industry. There is no doubt that petroleum exploitation has shaped our nation much the same way the discovery of fire must have transformed our ancestors.

Climate change denial is to be expected from such a paradigm. They grow up in a world of limitless resources, and immutable environment. The main focus of humanity for the last two thousand years was to separate its self from nature. The natural world has been maligned as primitive and as something to be conquered. Now we are facing the backlash of the natural world in the form of ecosystem collapse. There is no longer any debate internationally about the validity of the anthropogenic causes behind climate change.

But like the Widerstand standing up to Hitler in Nazi Germany, being right is simply not enough. There is still a strong economic force in America clinging to petroleum like a caveman resistant to adopting an electric stove. My sympathy goes out to them. They are not equipped to deal with a post carbon economy. The world they created is becoming increasingly inhospitable, and the cognitive dissonance they must maintain has become unbearably complex. 

Where is gets scary is in the context of the american political system. These strong economic forces have shifted the debate so far from scientific credibility that many of political leaders in our nations capital are not even capable of understanding the scope of the problem we face, let alone bring about effective policy against it. That is where my sentiment of "waiting for the old people to die" comes from. They seem to have no interest in working towards a livable future for my and subsequent generations. 

But don't worry, pretty soon we will be taking their keys away, in the mean time, just stay out of their path as they careen the wrong way down the freeway.

As always I welcome your comments and criticisms, and will not edit or omit any.   

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