Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Evidence And The Explanation

One of the big differences I have noticed between Canadian and American news is that while the former frequently addresses and uses the term climate change in their coverage of 'natural' disasters,' the latter almost never employs the phrase nor attempts any meaningful analysis of the underlying causes of catastrophes they commonly report on.

Last night, Global National addressed climate change head-on in relation to Hurricane Harvey. However, if you watch to the end of the report, you will see how deeply and shockingly ingrained denialism is in the psyches of many, many people.

Meanwhile, Matthew Hoffmann writes that the time is long past when we can think of climate change as something separate from our everyday lives:
The gulf between the enormity of the climate change challenge and our readiness to undertake it is staggering. This is painfully obvious when climate change is visible, when we are faced with the evidence that the impacts of climate change are happening now with devastating consequences. But this gulf is also evident in society’s failure to internalize climate awareness and concern. As a society we are simply not fully “woke” to the idea that climate change is not some discrete problem to solve; it is, as characterized by climate scientist Mike Hulme, a part of the modern condition. Addressing and living with climate change requires serious transformation of society. We have a lot of work to do and it will not be easy.
Unless and until we are able to honestly confront climate change and the role we all play in its ever-worsening effects, we can expect ever-more frequent reports of its increasingly devastating consequences for the entire world.


  1. Reality is setting in, Lorne. Many sense it rather than feel it. They know it's standing behind them but they don't want to turn and face it. Why? Because it's becoming increasingly obvious that addressing (not "fixing" but merely addressing) our climate change dilemma is like having to give up every conceivable addiction all at the same time. Most of our modes of organization - economic, industrial, social, geopolitical -stopped working for us sometime in the mid-70s when mankind first breached the ecological limits of this biosphere, our one and only. How did we respond? We've doubled our numbers since then and markedly increased both our longevity and our per capita consumption.

    It's becoming obvious that neoliberal capitalism is destroying us. It's the anchor tied to our feet while we struggle to tread water, barely staying afloat.

    Any attempt at deflecting the worst of what's coming requires overpopulated countries to rapidly depopulate while over-consumptive countries, such as our own, would have to rapidly and massively arrest our consumption levels. Each has to do what they must to bring humanity and our global economy back within the already degraded but finite limits of our environment. We have to reverse decades of unsustainable, exponential growth. Do you see the political or popular will for that sort of change? Let me know if you do.

    1. The silence of the masses and our political 'leadership' is truly deafening, Mound. My guess is we will keep on this fatal course until it becomes physically impossible to do so.

  2. I caught the Global newscast last night, Lorne. I was flummoxed to see people cleaning out their houses who are still skeptical. If the problem is that close, and you still can't see it, you're a long way from solving the problem.

    1. I found their resistance to climate change deeply disturbing and discouraging, Owen.