Monday, May 13, 2024

#134 / Three Pictures From The New York Times

On May 9, 2024, the New York Times published three stories that I think are related: 

  • Picture #3 is from a  news story by Frances Robles, who is said to be "reporting from Florida." I take this disclaimer to indicate that civic breakdown in Haiti makes it too dangerous for Robles, as a reporter for a U.S.-based newspaper, actually to report from Haiti itself. Robles' story is titled, "How 360,000 Haitians Wound Up Living in Empty Lots and Crowded Schools." The picture I have selected depicts "a woman carrying a sack with her family’s belongings and leading two children. They were among many residents who fled homes in the Lower Delmas section of Port-au-Prince because of violence."

How are these three stories related? Well, of course, they are all "climate change" stories - although I prefer to call them "global warming" stories, since "global warming" is the cause of the weather-related events being reported, and the "climate change" being documented is just the effect of global warming. 

Picture #1 should help make clear that tornados in the United States are a growing concern. They are powerfully destructive, and you can click this link to see some evidence of that. Picture #2, obviously, is another warning about the impacts of "global warming," with the focus on Brazil, and with "flooding," not tornados, being the type of destruction portrayed. Picture #3, which comes from a story focused on the total breakdown of political, social, and economic life in Haiti, has a "global warming" connection, as well. Hurricanes and other "weather" related disasters in Haiti have profoundly affected that nation for years, and have undermined its society, politics, and economy.

In fact, I have presented these three pictures from that May 9th edition of The Times in order to make this point: the economic and physical destruction caused by global warming leads to social and political breakdown - and the United States is not exempt. 

Haiti, of course, is far ahead of both Brazil and the United States with respect to the kind of social and political breakdown experienced in that country - though Brazil is experiencing extremely distressing political, social, and economic challenges, and has been, for some years.

But what about the United States? I would like those who are reading this blog posting to take seriously the idea that the continuing damages that we can expect in our country, related to globsl warming (tornados, clearly, and hurricanes, and flooding, and wildfires, to name ones we all know about) are going to challenge the social, political, and economic resilience of even the United States. 

When the electricity doesn't work anymore, when water supplies fail, when wildfires destroy whole towns, when food insecurity is a basic fact of life for thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people, when our schools start closing down, when flooding eliminates the homes of thousands or tens of thousands of people in local communities around the country.... social, economic, and political breakdown ensues. People with guns will start showing up in your street.

Yes. That can happen even here! Haiti is ahead of the curve, but the social breakdown witnessed there, documented in that article in The Times, is not a threat or possibility that is unique to Haiti.

The challenge of our times is NOT to figure out how to grow our economy by using "Artificial Intelligence," or otherwise, to MAKE MORE MONEY. Let's keep our eye on the ball. We need to mobilize ourselves, primarily at the local level, to build the human/political and social connections that can help us survive the kind of social, political, and economic breakdown that these three pictures should convince us may well be coming our way. If you prefer to get your advice from The Guardian (not a bad source, in my estimation), click right here for what The Guardian says, in an article published on May 8th. 

I am really not kidding. We need to take seriously the possibility - the likelihood, in fact - that our failure to deal with global warming will undermine the social, political, and economic cohesion that we want to "take for granted," and that we assume is a "given," but which is not, actually, any kind of a "given," at all. 

I have recommended Parable Of The Sower before. If you haven't read it, please do. And then....

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