Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The collapse of civilization

Yes, it has happened in war zones, but it's also happening in Venezuela right now due to gross misrule and the collapse of oil prices. The Gulf monarchies prepared for this eventuality by putting money away. They won't be able to live on their savings forever, but the Saudis have acknowledged that the end of the era when money gushes from oil wells is coming, and they have vowed to diversify their economy. Norway, though not as dependent on petroleum as the Saudis, is also preparing for the gravy train to end.

Alaska and Louisiana did not plan; nor did West Virginia plan for the collapse of the coal industry. All three states are in financial trouble, although of course nothing like Venezuela. (It helps that they have the federal government to help them out, although of course their political leaders won't admit that.)

The point is that it is very difficult for people to contemplate that their long accustomed way of living will have to change. The depth of denial can be astonishing. Joe Romm walks us through the climate shock we are experiencing right now. Not thirty years from now -- right now and starting last year. Scientists who specialize in this area are by constitution conservative in what they will say publicly, but obviously the positive feedbacks in the climate system are terrifying -- disappearing sea ice, burning forests, melting permafrost all amplify the process. What we are seeing now is consistent with an accelerating trend which is on the highest end of the projected range.

This is a global emergency. But it's much more important to bully and humiliate transgendered people, because that's what Jesus wants us to do.

1 comment:

robin andrea said...

Bullying transgendered people is the tried and true way to change the topic from what's truly, perilously important to what's absurd and push-button perfect. I remember years ago when the rallying cry was god, guns, and gays (also abortion). Whatever it takes to shift the focus from the utter environmental and economic disaster that is looming on the horizon is what is offered up for your viewing pleasure. Besides, I heard global warming ain't really happening.