Even the short run looks gloomy, and the slightly longer run -- the next twenty to thirty years -- could be a turning point in human history.Not that every moment isn't, maybe, a turning point, depending. And not that the rest of the article, snappy third paragraph aside, isn't (as far as could be determined by a cursory scan) a litany of hippie-dippie verdancy; there is some (not enough) litanizing of what's going wrong w/ everything, & we always like that.
[A Swede named Rockstrom] and his colleagues have worked out the biophysical conditions that allowed human beings to appear and then prosper on the planet -- the safe operating conditions for humanity. They have quantified nine interlinked planetary conditions and their boundaries, which include climate change, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss and other eco-indicators necessary for human survival and civilized development. Three of these boundaries have already been overstepped because of growing global reliance on fossil fuels, industrialized forms of agriculture, and overuse of natural resources. The world economy is fast approaching almost all of the other boundaries.America does not want to be alarmed by facts, but by scary boogie men. Always helps to keep that in mind.
Rockstrom and his colleagues' work and analysis deserves the widest possible attention -- yet few public figures in the US seem to have heard of him.
Ripped from the headlines:
[M]any firsthand observers [...] have amply documented the country's horrifying amount of air, water and soil pollution. Anyone who has visited China in recent years can view the air pollution, dirty rivers, incredible traffic jams, and endless urbanization for themselves.OK, no hope there then. Anywhere, really. Certainly none here.
Public opinion is in our favor. There is a climate majority. Nearly 75% of Americans tell pollsters that they believe the earth's temperature is warming and that human behavior is responsible. Solid majorities think the nation needs a fundamental overhaul of its energy policies and expect oil to be replaced as a major source of fuel with 25 years. Yet, our political system seems unable to act and our president unable to lead.Please remind us of the last time the system acted in favor of something that needed action. (Tax cuts & wars excepted, of course.) Cynic that we are, we imagine a Bradley effect: 75% of those polled are all for action, but a different tune will be warbled or screeched if any cutbacks or contractions are necessary, whether in gated communities or urban tenements.
What do we need to do as Americans? Tom Friedman thinks we need a Green Tea Party -- and perhaps that would help.Not terribly fair to mock the typist, as he does weasel around it, but isn't mentioning Friedman a violation of one of those irksome Intertubular discourse things; that is, quoting him w/o identifying him as the Mustache of Understanding or the Great Friend of the Taxi Driver is an automatic disqualification? Picayune bull aside, imagining a Green Tea Party is pretty damn funny. Is there not a "Green" Party, which should be winning elections if any of the sheep gave a flying fuck at a rolling dough-nut about much beyond their next dough-nut?