Global warming has come with progress to our Valley

We must drop those material expectations and linear thinking of mushrooming economies

Global warming has come with progress to our Valley

As one with science background and grandchildren, I must object to climate change denial. It is unseemly for continuing addictive behaviours employing junk fuel. Grate expectations — grating against each other, world ending in a whingeing whimper.

We must drop those material expectations and linear thinking of mushrooming economies, because the world is round and comes back to bite us. Ludicrously successful as a species in exponential growth ( two-plus billion mid-20th Century and 7.5 now, all in my lifetime) and resource exploitation, payback is nigh in terms of decades if not years. Cancer is like that also. A system gone off the rails. Witness our biggest local drought ever, a temporary stay of execution on forest fires and the picture starts to fill in.

I met a retired civil engineer recently who claimed we don’t have “the data” to his satisfaction. Turns out a brilliant fellow “student” went on as a Stanford prof to investigate the increase in glacier size of Mt. Shasta at the northern California border. This was his rebuttal — but Shasta is now shrinking (there was a blip in snow amounts delivered during the “study”), California having now enjoyed the same cycle of drought and fires with irregular flooding that speaks to complex local system effects (snow also melts and swelling oceans evaporate). Iceland’s usual five days of sunshine in a summer reversed this year to only five of overcast and rain. The Northwest Passage is open — for business, and therein lies a problem. Kilimanjaro’s epic snow cap is disappearing, Southern Alps glaciers in South Island, New Zealand, and every other major glacier group likewise shrinking as demonstrable on NASA “data” etc. Conspiracy to bilk ‘n milk the hard working taxpayer?

People here generally have cars with minimally 100 to 150 proud white steeds under the hood waiting to trot out and gallop, as is their wont. All that manure exhaust — up in smoke. And outta sight. But it’s there as CO2, as it historically has been with life forms — creating the greenhouse effect so dangerous in cars to unsuspecting, innocent children and dogs. Inconveniently the temperature strongly tends to go up and down in geological cycles with the amount of that atmospheric CO2 more than other dangerous Greenhouse gases like the lurking methane. CO2 has risen hugely faster than any other geological time in lockstep with the Industrial Revolution’s latching on to fossil fuels. Power plus. Generally all our energy comes from the great nuclear heater in the sky and much is attached as chemical bonds in carbon formats. Billions of years of lifeform energy storage smoked within decades — junk, that has its side effects at such ridiculously unbalanced levels. Seeing a diseased smoker puff on a ciggy through the emergency tracheal slit in their throat is a reminder of the addictively self destructive routines.

A new royalty has taken over with moneyed elections become the norm in nominally democratic jurisdictions. Billions of dollars swing a lot of votes, lobbying and commanding the mass media, now social media. Many multi-national corporations now exceed all but 10 per cent of countries on this planet for revenue (and Canada currently barely eclipses Walmart). They have no citizenry to elect them or respond to — just shareholders who demand profit. In increasing oodles. What’s an Amazon jungle to them? Earth’s lungs are not their problem. Or is it? The lamentable lobbying and propaganda spreading doubt about geological cycles and unproved global warming must go down as the biggest “smoke” job in the annals of foolish human history.

Almost all scientifically attuned people knew of the phenomenon over three decades ago, but then the petrochemical industry hit hard — with a naïve and fickle populace in North America, epicentre of space age marketing. Populism now gone mad, to rail against immigrants as a problem is a clown’s sideshow to disguise the unabated, rampant consumption by the big, big players of the only spaceship we will ever know — and without planet B we are hooped. If there cannot be peace and concordance of vision in this Valley, what hope is there for international agendas with jarring nationalist/racial/religious differences to act in concert to combat the greatest enemy that Pogo saw — us. FDR would agree, and we should have fear. Al Gore felt we needed a concerted Second World War like effort to combat the problem. Can we adjust and sacrifice with rations our habituated, materialist lifestyles, increasingly fueled by addictive social media as soma for the masses?

The extremely spiritual Chief Seattle realized we do not own this Earth no matter how we arrogate its economic flow. We are merely on a time measured lease here. He said; “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.” The love of it is rooted in another story perhaps, but the song remains the same.

Robin Lawson


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