Saturday, September 16, 2023

#259 / What Do We Need To Do Now?


I don't really know too much about Pauline P. Schneider. If you click the link to her name, and read about her, you will then know exactly as much as I know. Though I don't really know her, I received a posting she made on her Substack blog about a month or so ago. I thought it was worth passing along. Schneider's blog posting is also where I got the image I am using above. The blog posting that captured my attention was titled, "When Nations Drown/Burn."

On the very same day I read Schneider's blog posting, I got a bulletin from Tom Engelhardt, who was writing on the same topic, in "TomDispatch." Both Schneider and Engelhardt were focusing on global warming. Engelhardt put it this way: 

Hey, who knows? It could be the Gulf Stream collapsing or the planet eternally breaking heat records. But whatever the specifics, we're living it right now, not in the next century, the next decade, or even next year. You couldn't miss it -- at least so you might think -- if you were living in the sweltering Southwest; especially in broiling, record-setting Phoenix with 30 straight days of temperatures above 110 degrees Fahrenheit; or in flaming Greece or western China on the day the temperature hit 126 degrees Fahrenheit or sweltering, blazing Algeria when the temperature reached an almost unimaginable 135 (yes, 135!) degrees Fahrenheit; not to speak of broiling Canada with its more than 1,000 fires now burning (a figure that still seems to be rising by the week) and its 29 million acres already flamed out; and don't forget Italy's 1,400 fires; or Florida's hot-tub-style seawater, which recently hit an unheard-of 101-plus degrees Fahrenheit. And though I'm still writing this as the month is ending, July is more or less guaranteed to set the record for the hottest month in history. And don't assume that "record" will stand for long, either. 
Who even remembers that this June was the hottest since records have been kept or that July 6th was the hottest day in recorded history (and July 3rd through 6th, the hottest four days ever)? And don't be surprised if 2023 ends up setting a record for the hottest year or assume that such a record will last long on a planet where the previous eight years were the warmest ever. And if I'm already boring you, then one thing is guaranteed: you're going to be bored out of your mind in the years to come.

Englehardt provides a link to a New York Times' article, in making his claim that temperatures in Algeria reached 135 degrees Fahrenheit during July. Schneider doesn't provide any link, but her blog posting claims that temperatures reached 154 degrees Fahrenheit in Iran. 

What Schneider does propose (that Englehardt doesn't) is a list of specific ideas of what we should do about the kind of catastrophic temperatures that are now being experienced, almost everywhere, on Planet Earth. Here is Schneider's list, copied from her blog: 

What to do? 
1. Birth control, sterilization, and abortion should be free and readily available globally. Yes, even in Texas. 
2. ALL Nations should decommission nuclear power plants immediately. They cannot be operated safely in a normal climate, even less so in a smouldering climate. 
3. All militaries and their weapons of mass destruction should be immediately repurposed and decommissioned as well. Same reason as for nuke plants above. 
4. The IPCC scientists should be publicly horsewhipped for minimizing the climate crisis since Reagan (Ronnie Raygun). Even though that was the purpose of their creation-to minimize the crisis, & defuse any positive climate activism. Thank you Heartland Institute for helping to murder the planet. Kevin Hester explains that in detail.
5. Any and all pseudo “Green” and “sustainable” energies should be called out for their lies and misinformation. Electric cars, solar and wind, hydroelectric, nuclear, are all NOT green, nor sustainable. They all require MASSIVE amounts of fossil fuels, mining, transportation, and a secure grid-tied infrastructure. Few nations have that, and the US especially lacks a secure infrastructure of any kind. Thanks Heartland Institute for helping to ruin our infrastructure with your greed-based, inhumane policies. 
6. Finally, as we (most of us) recognize the existential crisis we are facing, billionaires should be banned from speaking, or having any public presence, or holding public office. There should be no billionaires to begin with, that is an obscenity of capitalism and has led to the destruction of our only home. They are welcome to leave and go to Mars. Today is good. 
7. Societal changes: 
All humans must be treated with dignity and compassion as we begin to exit this existence. This is simple. Basic needs met for all: housing, food, medical care, safety. We MUST end the houseless/homeless crisis in the US. We MUST provide universal healthcare for all. We MUST ensure our poorest have a basic living income. We MUST have sane gun control in the US (like other nations do) to ensure safe neighborhoods, schools, parks, and shopping areas.

There are some problems with Schneider's list of recommended actions (particularly if you believe that individuals should continue to enjoy the kind of constitutional rights about which Schneider seems little concerned). 

That said..... I think this is what Schneider is trying to convey: (1) We need to take immediate and effective action to stop contributing to the processes that have driven and are still driving the catastrophic global warming that both Schneider and Engelhardt describe; (2) We need to take immediate and effective action to mitigate and reverse those processes, to the greatest degree we possibly can; and (3) We need to take immediate and effective action to make radical, real changes to how we conduct our lives and structure our economy and society. 

Anyone disagree that we need to do those things? If not, if we are all in agreement that we need to take the kind of immediate and effective actions outlined in the preceding paragraph, I would like to suggest that we focus on those two words, "radical" and "real." 

Making radical and real changes in how we do everything. That is what we need to do now!

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