Sunday, February 14, 2010

An Empty Delight for Climate Change Denyers

Naturally, MeanMesa has been as infatuated as everyone else -- at least, those of us boldly claiming sufficient literacy to notice such things -- with the chorus of shrill voices insisting that the storms which have hit the Eastern US are "proof positive" that global warming is a sinister fraud designed to separate us from yet more of our tax dollars.  No matter how attractive, we can throw this most recent, cheap conspiracy propaganda under the bus.

First, let's substitute "climate change" for "global warming."  Both terms ultimately describe the same thing, but the frenzied obsession to strip all credibility from Al Gore (Including denigrating his Nobel Prize -- along with as many other Nobel Prizes as possible.  Illiterate hill billies, bigots and other neo-con freaks are allergic to leadership -- they think everyone else is like they are...) has finally soiled the "global warming" idea.

The journey of both ideas through the cynical "meat grinder" of a corporate media with an avarice-like profit agenda has been quite a bit less than rational.

Still, perhaps MeanMesa should make a few points.

The "climate" of the Earth can be, in one sense, described as a general model of the flow of water.  The water on the planet has traditionally been in certain places -- local areas where agriculture flourishes and other areas where it doesn't.  Predictably, social groups have gradually migrated to places which promise good harvest, clean drinking water and the like.

Along with the migration of populations to these more habitable areas, we see immense investments of everything else which have, understandably, traveled there along with them.  This "everything else" can take many forms including ownership of historical homelands, flocks of sheep, fields of wheat, and, yes, even WalMarts, coal mines, interstate highway systems and other things.

All this is fine.  The gradual flow of all these accoutrements of civilization marks the foundation of our general history as a people (species).  However, when the water starts flowing in a different, changed way, the value of all these different artifacts also changes.  When the water starts winding up in other areas, leaving the old places without enough, the value of all these elements of society begins to change.

Previously rich fishing areas become barely able to provide much food at all.  Places where crops have previously been abundant enough to support export, can barely grow enough to feed themselves.  We can assume that all sorts of unpleasant geopolitical responses will follow pretty quickly after those "ribs starts showing."  For example, if your particular society winds up facing such challenges, you can always arm yourselves and invade someone near by who still has what you need.

Those "invasions" aren't always the armored column crashing across the border, either.   In fact, right here in New Mexico (the Galactic Command Center for MeanMesa...), a little more rainfall might increase the price tag on some of our desert real estate.  Although that might, at first, seem to be a positive development, those of us who already live here are already so poor that we can barely afford it now!  If the place were "gentrified" as a result of having more rainfall, we might have to invade Oklahoma.  Yuck.

Although aggressive action might temporarily solve your personal "food on the table" problem, it will unavoidably leave your deposed neighbors with a new one of their own.  If you can demonize them adequately with some sort of religious nonsense, perhaps you can justify "driving them into the sea" or some other sort of "final solution."  In the end, however, beyond all the bullets and bombs, it will remain essentially a food problem -- one usually based even more fundamentally on a water problem.

So, absent the unsettling introduction of any troubling mathematics or dull  statistics, where is this going?

Loose the common limits on your thoughts for a moment and consider this.  In the last month we have seen the East coast of the country receive an historically large snow fall while the Winter Olympics site in Van Couver languishes in an unprecedented mid-winter warm spell.

Climate change is a very big deal, and it is happening now.  It is not politics.  In fact, it is moving rapidly to a state so serious that politics, our only collective force great enough to compensate for it, may be slipping too far into the dysfunctional to respond in time.

MeanMesa suspects that, as a species, we may not even be capable of comprehending what approaches.

1 comment:

  1. Forget Oklahoma, NM should invade Mexico, our rightful domain! (Just kidding, Mexico).