How many times will we rebuild Florida’s cities, Houston, coastal New Jersey, New Orleans and other population centers ravaged by storms lethally intensified by global warming? At what point, surveying the devastation and knowing more is inevitable, will we walk away, leaving behind vast coastal dead zones? Will we retreat even further into magical thinking to cope with the fury we have unleashed from the natural world? Or will we respond rationally and radically alter our relationship to this earth that gives us life?
Civilizations over the past 6,000 years have unfailingly squandered their futures through acts of colossal stupidity and hubris. We are probably not an exception. The physical ruins of these empires, including the Mesopotamian, Roman, Mayan and Indus, litter the earth. They elevated, during acute distress, inept and corrupt leaders who channeled anger, fear and dwindling resources into self-defeating wars and vast building projects. The ruling oligarchs, driven by greed and hedonism, retreated into privileged compounds—the Forbidden City, Versailles—and hoarded wealth as their populations endured mounting misery and poverty. The worse it got, the more the people lied to themselves and the more they wanted to be lied to. Reality was too painful to confront. They retreated into what anthropologists call “crisis cults,” which promised the return of the lost world through magical beliefs.
“The most significant characteristic of modern civilization is the sacrifice of the future for the present,” philosopher and psychologist William James wrote, “and all the power of science has been prostituted to this purpose.”
Source: The Great Flood
It is always a wonderous thing when Chris Hedges turns his pen to focus on the environment. And the wonder Mr Fish illustrates. He brings up points in the context of finances – this is the only thing that will get the PTB focused on this catastrophic situation in which we find ourselves. Although I thought, by now, that point would already have driven changes.
Yesterday I was listening to a Richard D Wolff podcast and he mentioned how people made money off building homes in disaster prone areas and now they’re going to make money off rebuilding. Perhaps this is going to happen again, and again, and again.
I use to dream about living on the sea shore. No more.
Today the smart money is in decentralized small communities which are sustainable with regard to generating their own power and food.
And how pathetic is this:
“In today’s political climate, open discussion of the security risks of climate change is viewed as practically treasonous.”