Skip to main content

All truths, to some extent, are inconvenient. Living in a reality filled with prospects that never dim is a cute thought. Unfortunately, the responsible thing to do with age is absorb the facts as they present themselves, and then look at what the future will be- or importantly, should be. Hurricane Sandy was by definition an inconvenient truth. So was the utterly insane 2005-06 hurricane season, put up in conventional wisdom as an aberration. When several million people sit around without power with trees blown all over the neighborhood, it prompts the question of how the hell we ended up in this mess.

The preparedness of state and municipal governments, as well as citizens themselves, is obviously key. Hurricane Katrina did not kill a thousand people by sure destructive force. Rather there was shoddy engineering, shoddy planning, and after the fact, shoddy accountability. The underlying reality stands stark; no matter what steps are taken towards individual weather events, the aggregate is worsening. Decades of reckless pollution and startling increases in various greenhouse gases has come home to roost.

A global economic system that for most of its history ignored the externalities of industry; and let them cast off harmful byproducts at a grand cost of not a single penny. Only the hopelessly naive would think that the world would continue ticking, stoic and unchanging from year to year. At some point, the decisions governments, multinationals, and individuals make cull themselves together and slug us right in the face. Some people may be able to ignore it longer than others, but the changes to the Earth's climate are now widespread and increasingly devastating. Unceasing heat caused drought and large crop failures in the Midwestern United States. Even with all the machinery, latest crop hybrids, and government money, it was no match. As an interviewed Iowa farmer said, it was simply too hot for corn to grow. Foot riots, sometimes deadly, have broken out in dozens of countries since 2007, and there is only a matter of time before the United States can no longer suppress high staple prices. Record flooding was recorded on the Mississippi last year. Summers bring killer heat waves to Europe, winters huge blizzards that seem to strike more unlikely locations by the year.

The Maldives have begun purchasing land in surrounding countries, as rising sea levels could possibly put the entire population of over 300,000 under water. The political situation is discouraging in light of rather dire disaster escalation.

Not a single Republican in the Senate thinks climate change is man-made. The Copenhagen summits were fruitless, with industrializing nations teaming up with United States business interests to make sure any goals are voluntary; and even voluntary ones were unambitious. Climate change is more complex than trade, land, and war. War is not reversible, but it can end at any moment with the right conditions and skillful diplomacy. You can't call an armistice with global warming. If we all threw down our instruments of pollution, shuttered the factories and banned the cars, the present atmospheric CO2 level is far, far beyond the maximum safe limit.

The blame game is a great way to dodge responsibility until your term is up and you rejoin the private sector, but it's not a practical solution to grave international problems. The popular strategy of business-friendly politicians and the industries that would have to do some work, namely complete and total denialism, is increasingly showing itself to be a fa├žade. At some point there has to be a new paradigm. Courage and leadership, mostly absent minus a few heads of tropical states, are so far not in vogue.

My generation will see a revolution. For my grandparents, it was technological. For my parents, it was political. My generation will see a coming together, or a crumbling apart. As the always-astute Benjamin Franklin once said to his colleagues "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site