Left vs Right and Climate Change.

Put an interview of David Suzuki up on the front page which is worth listening to. I share his anxiety over our chances of doing what needs to be done to avoid disaster, but where I disagree is in his understanding of religion and that he gives too much weight to the doomsday predictions of Guy McPherson. McPherson has being predicting annihilation of life on Earth ‘in a few years’ for the past few years. For sure the situation demands immediate action but the greatest barrier to that happening is people giving up. It’s dying without having drawn your sword. Shameful. Lost cause? The ‘only ones worth fighting for’, as someone said.

Yesterday I found a link on the Bellingcat website (open-source journalism) to an article that looked interesting, thirty pages on the subject of the far right’s strategies from post WWII up to today. Got about halfway through and might finish it but it’s a bit like reading an undergrad assignment. The author for sure did his research and put everything together fairly well, but he might have done better when deciding to write about the far right , by asking himself what information his readers might need to make sense of the recent rise of the far right. Many of the strategies he describes are equally used by the far left, and so a better title for the paper would have been, ‘strategies used by revolutionary organisations from WWII to today”.

He does outline a few of the aims and objectives of the far right, but it reads like ‘the frying pan calling the kettle black’. A better approach I feel would be to look at the far right’s stated concerns and ask the question – do they have reason to believe their fears, such as population replacement, are well founded?

Anyways – what we do know is that western societies are increasingly polarised and that is not a good thing, and regardless of whether it’s progressives or conservatives who ‘win’. It would not be for long because and as numerous climate reports have insisted, anything from 3 degrees warming upwards is, ‘inconsistent with organised society’. We would find ourselves in a situation where indeed Darwin’s ‘survival of the favoured’ would apply, and that is not all that far off in the future. Unless we witness a miracle in Glasgow later this year.

Present day social debates relate to Psychological and Self-Fulfilment, and as though the Basics will take care of themselves, when in fact they could be well on their way out in less than a decade.

Lockdown, writing books and the IPCC report.

Sydney is still in lockdown and expected to remain so for a long while given the numbers remain high. Needless to say everyone is struggling mentally and many financially, myself I’ve noticed getting out of bed is becoming increasingly difficult because there are not many reasons to swap dreams for unwanted reality.

There are things I could be doing such as finishing off a few writing projects but locked in and frustrated are not ingredients for creative thought. I actually have one book all but completed, just needs a few gaps filled in and a final edit, but it must again be this lockdown, I feel the task of researching and writing it fulfilled its purpose as far as its author is concerned. Publishing, which I’ve told myself could be a useful to others, is not a requirement and in fact, I honestly could not be bothered dealing with the expected hostility doing so could cause.

There is also that, and as made clear by the latest IPCC report, working on convincing people of the need to urgently address climate change is a by far better use of time than belly-aching over the life consequences of past events. You can’t, after gaining understanding of why certain aspects of life were, let’s say, problematic, go back and do it all again. Life is not a dressed rehearsal, you have to live with and not regret your fuck-ups, and broadly speaking, I’m happy with mine because I truly lived.

On that IPCC report, it does not tell us anything we didn’t know already. Two things are nevertheless important, one being that it states it is now unequivocal climate change is human caused, and the second that some consequences, such as rising sea levels and retreating glaciers, are now unstoppable. Where it remains questionable is in that it remains optimistic; things will be by far worse if a series of feedbacks kick in which, and probably because they are debatable, appear to be left out. For example an Arctic ‘blue ocean’ event (less than 1 million square kilometres of summer sea ice) could cause a release of methane (CH4) that according to British glaciologist professor Peter Wadhams, author of “A Farewell to Ice”, would add a full degree Celsius to warming. Shooting us past 2 degrees and from there, I suppose you could go down on your knees.

I will admit, I struggle to ‘believe’ this is not a nightmare, or a colossal mistake. It makes no sense because without us, humans, the Universe would make no sense. Rocks and fireballs, clouds of gas, black holes, just flying around and making a Universe with nothing that can look back at it. Some confronted with this realisation insist there must be other advanced lifeforms out there somewhere. We have long looked and listened, we have collected Moon rocks and drilled into Mars looking for any trace of past or present life and so far have not found anything. For sure there is a long way to go with this research and who knows, maybe we might one day find traces of a bacterium. I feel we should assume short of an alien making itself visible to us, and as scary as the thought is, that Earth is the cradle of life and consciousness, and we haven’t even figured out what consciousness is.