I’ve been doing a lot of observing lately. I suppose it’s what they call Progress that I’ve been watching. You know, all the usual stuff—new roads being built, new housing developments being slapped up (brimming with spec homes that all look exactly alike, spaced about ten feet apart from one another, with no yards, no trees, no personality, no privacy, and selling for around $325,000 each because they’re situated only several blocks back from our pretty replenished beaches), more strip malls (yep, they too look like any other strip mall just up the road, or several states over, it matters not), more schools, more administrative buildings…well, just more in general. Of course, this is all in response to the influx of people heading south to the warmer climes, about 10,000 per day, if statistics cited in the media are to be believed. We were born of the water, and to the water we yearn to return.
I watch the hustle and bustle as whole new swaths that used to provide habitat for lots of creatures other than just ourselves are carved up, cleared, leveled, and readied to meet all the zoning regulations currently on the books. The sitting city council will be convinced that all is unfolding as scheduled, in accordance with the statutes that cover such human activities as scraping the land clean of all its natural living stuff so that a bunch of non-living, human-manufactured artificial stuff can be erected in its place. Seems to make perfect sense for most of us. Progress.
Such activities are, of course, for one reason only…an ever expanding human population wanting to live the same dream that it’s parents got to live. A whole bunch more peoples want to come in and park their massive vehicles in massive parking lots, then waddle their massive bodies, like so many corn-fed ducks, into the massive new establishments, buying up massive amounts of cheap plastic crap, followed by the consumption of massive meals that have nothing to do with fine cuisine and everything to do with cardboard.
They’ll haul everything they purchased back to all those uninspired little spec homes they live in, replacing the older plastic crap with the newer stuff in an ongoing cycle that feeds the machine, feeds the voracious heat engine we collectively call Civilization. Eventually, everything that got shoved out of a factory somewhere is shit out yet again, in one form or another, into a toilet or a landfill, so we can go back the next day, or next week, maybe in a newer, bigger vehicle, and do it all again, over and over for the rest of our lives.
When I moved to Panama City, Florida nearly a quarter century ago, it really wasn’t much to write home about. Redneck Riviera laughed the locals, and proud of it. A sleepy little place with a beach that sort of “dried up” as they say, once the tourist season ended each year. Now, everywhere I go on the beach, aint nothin’ dried up; no no, it’s filled up all the time with us peoples. Everything I see is either falling down and hoping for that developer’s bulldozer to roll in one day soon, or brand spanking new and already drawing in the new peoples by the thousands.
In short, there’s no place left to breathe, and the patience needed in tolerating the crushing pressure of ever more peoples makes me want to run for the hills where there’s nothing human-made for as far as the eye can see, and with bucketfuls of unadulterated air just waiting to be sucked in by my lungs.
Now don’t worry. I’m not having a panic attack on the page, or a mental breakdown here in cyberspace. I’m too old school for any of that. Nerves of steel my friend, nerves of steel. This is just my roundabout way of saying that I’m convinced, at least as much as I ever was, and probably more so, that our fate is very probably sealed already. Many climatologists (according to insiders) want to say just that, but are too afraid to do it for fear they’ll lose their funding. Ironic wouldn’t you say? Plus, they’re supposed to maintain a hopeful countenance amongst their colleagues, lest someone start to wonder what the serious one knows that the rest are supposed to know.
The equation is simple, maybe even elegant: Cease and desist with our current careless ways or perish. Stop dumping CO2 into the atmosphere to give ourselves the remotest chance of continued existence on this here planet. That’s it. Ignore this warning and pay an increasingly higher toll in the very near future. It sounds like an apocalypse of biblical proportions. Well, read the dirty laundry list further down and decide for yourself.
I’ve said it before—there’s very little reason (in fact none) for us to believe that the same sorts of heat-producing activities described above aren’t taking place in every other industrialized nation. Maybe a little more here, a little less there, but on the whole, the pace is probably indistinguishable in the aggregate. Of this we can all be quite sure. The only evidence we really need to ascertain that mitigation of our dreadful circumstances is virtually non-existent is plainly before us:
- Atmospheric CO2 levels are still rising steadily, year after year, as manifested on the Keeling Curve in Mauna Loa. Those numbers WILL NOT go back down in our lifetimes, nor our children’s.
- Ocean acidification, and hence coral bleaching, is also steadfast in its progress. Remember that coral reefs sustain massive amounts of bio-diverse colonies on which much of the oceans’ other species depend.
- New planetary heat records are set year after sweltering year. The fires, the droughts, the flooding, all baked in, and with the promise that things are only going to get worse.
- Greenland’s ice sheets are melting, and will continue to do so now until the job is finished. It’s not a matter of if, but only when. We can measure and monitor* the pace all we want, but that’s about it.
(*I’ve also said this in the past…Climate Change generates a lot of jobs for people, many of them futile in the extreme…with the appearance of upmost scientific importance. I don’t disagree that computer modeling is important, but it feels sometimes that we are deluding ourselves with our gadgetry. Ever more sensitive monitoring and measuring devices won’t solve the problem. Only action will. We have a sense of reassurance because we can predict the moment of our demise down to the day month and year. Good for us, although do we really want to know?
I often listen to scientists talk about Climate Change now, as though expecting that something new is going to be conveyed. I’m consistently disappointed. All the rhetoric mostly revolves around the idea that we can really really really pinpoint with exactitude and laser sharp accuracy what’s going on with the planet, everywhere and all the time.
Let’s strike a balance, shall we? I don’t want a doctor to hook me up to a dozen machines and predict with a high degree of certainty when I’ll take my last breath. I’d rather she pick up that scalpel of hers and wield it with authority, perhaps even rid me of my tumor.
The socio-political equivalent of this would be to never allow a president, such as the current one we somehow deemed to be the most fit for the office, nor the Climate Change Deniers he has packed his cabinet with, to ever be the remotest possibility in the future…we can’t afford such immeasurable wasting of oh so precious time twice over).
- Habitat will continue to be lost and the species die off will also continue to accelerate.
- Sea levels will continue to rise.
- Weather anomalies will also be something we can no longer deny or hide from. The storms are finding us, no matter where we try to hide. Our possibilities for a safe haven have largely run out.
The list of concerns is much much longer…
The reason I named this post Psych comes from the stupid thing we used to say to one another as youngsters after instilling false fear, false hope, false whatever, in our closest friends, then pulling the contrived moment out from under the victim, like a carpet, yelling “Psych” in their faces as a way of affirming what a moron they were to fall for it in the first place. Like Joe’s friend declaring enthusiastically that Mary Lou wants him to know that she thinks he’s super cute and hopes he’ll ask her to the dance. Joe responds excitedly with “What? She did? Really?” Joe’s friend chuckles, “No, not really…PSYCH!” Good clean cruel fun. Like I said…stupid.
If you’re paying attention to all the conversational noise going on all around you on any given day, you’ll realize quite quickly that the culture is full of Psych. It starts in the media and flows out from there, into society’s information pipelines, big and small, until it enters your ears, in one form or another, mostly in sarcastic overtones regarding the idiots who buy into all that Climate Change crap.
The sun is shining outside, the sky is blue, the birds are singing, the economy is good, you’re going on vacation in three weeks, and your boss just gave you a raise. Plus, America is now producing so much oil, we don’t even need those stinking Saudis (there are many ways to delude ourselves). You smile, knowingly, agreeing with the naysayers.
Yeah, what a fool you’ve been to ever think that this Climate Change stuff was ever anything to worry about. It’s just weather. Nature does weird things, sometimes. It will eventually fix itself and we can get on with it. Climate Change…really? C’mon, Man. Who cares?
Sincere thanks for stopping by!