Monday, June 19, 2023

#170 / My So-Called Friends

 New York City Smoke, June 7, 2023
My so-called friends 
Have fallen under a spell.
They look me squarely in the eye 
And they say, well, “All is well."
Can they imagine the darkness 
That will fall from on high 
When men will beg God to kill them 
And they won’t be able to die?
 Bob Dylan, "Precious Angel"

The lines above keep haunting me. And our global warming crisis proceeds. Pundits pick their sides. 

An editorial in the June 9, 2023, edition of The Wall Street Journal comments on the forest fires in Canada that were raging on that date (with the smoke from those fires, as seen above, descending on New York City, and on Washington, D.C., and on much of the East Coast). The Wall Street Journal says that all that smoke should not make us worry that those fires and the smoke are a sign of an out-of-control global warming catastrophe. 
Of course it is true, as The Journal tells us, that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau does blame the fires on "climate change," but the editorial in The Journal says that such fires have been occurring in Canada's boreal forests of conifers, birch and poplar "for thousands of years." Nothing to worry about, in other words! No reason to panic or get concerned! Our spell-bound "friends" at The Wall Street Journal are telling us that "all is well!"

I think it’s fair to say that even people who accept climate reality have tended to assume that really serious impacts still lie some years in the future; I sometimes find myself thinking that way, even though intellectually I know better. But it has long been clear that the damage from climate change will gradually build over time, as formerly freakish disasters become bigger and more frequent, as once-in-a-century floods, fires and droughts start happening every few years, affecting ever more people. The climate crisis will get much worse, but it is in fact already well underway.

And there are no safe places. Some people have tended to assume that a warming planet is only bad for faraway places that are already hot — India, say, or the Middle East — and might even be good for people living in colder climes. But right now Canada is on fire, and central New York State — heretofore famous for cold winters and lake-effect snow — has been hit as hard or harder than New York City.

Things could be worse. Indeed, things are certain to get worse: Even effective climate action now won’t be enough to prevent disasters from becoming even bigger and more frequent for many more years.               
While this is not really a happy admission, I am thinking that Bob Dylan is the one who has given us the most accurate "heads up" on what's coming down the line.
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