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Friday, August 2, 2019

Our family tree is to grow again

Eileen and Matthew
Our son Matt has now lost both of his sisters to cancer (Sissy in 1998, Danielle last April). He is our last kid standing, hence our relocation from California to Baltimore back in April. He and his fabulous fiance Eileen (Baltimore native, humane, breathtakingly-smart environmental engineer with the state and an accomplished sailor) will bring us a new grandson early next year.

Our personal ecstasy at this family news aside, I continue to fret over the quality of the world we will bequeath all of our children and grandchildren.

From an article I just read at WIRED:
...Asking how to pay for the impact of climate change implies that these costs are a matter of choice. The reality is that global warming will impose massive costs, regardless of whether policymakers respond or not. Thus, the real question is not “How would you propose to pay?” but instead “Who is going to pay?” and “How much?”
Indeed. What looms is not optional in the aggregate, the inane bleatings of people like the ethical zombie Donald Trump aside. Left effectively unchallenged, Frase's "Quadrant IV" draws nigh, and its realization will not be pretty.

The WIRED article continues:
People are already paying for climate change with their lives. Rising temperatures are killing more than 150,000 people every year. This death toll is estimated to increase to 1.5 million people annually by the turn of the century. Some are confronting the likelihood of failed crops; others have been forced to flee floodplains.

Those currently paying for the effects of climate change are the most vulnerable—people in the developing world, the poor, the sick, the elderly, and the very young. As the world changes, more people are going to suffer the cost of heat waves, rising water, damaged or dying ecosystems, and flooded coastal cities. This will create what political science and public policy experts describe as “existential politics,” in which different groups fight to preserve their entire way of life.

On one side of this existential fight will be those who want things to continue mostly as they are…
I enjoy my entertainments as much as anyone else, but they don't consume my consciousness. We all have a moral duty to our offspring to do whatever we can leave a better world behind. I want for everyone a healthy, blooming, growing Family Tree going forward.

UPDATE

From an interesting post on Medium:
Climate change — the sheer scale of the catastrophe we collectively face — is finally breaking through to mass consciousness. That’s a good thing. Yet accompanying it is a pernicious myth. Climate change is your fault — therefore, solving climate change is a matter of your individual actions.

This myth goes something like this. “I’m going to eat less meat! I’m going to travel less on airplanes!! And anyone who does those things is bad! They must not care about the planet!” It’s a fairy tale, my friends. Like so many myths, its purpose is to shield us from a truth we don’t want to face — or aren’t capable of facing yet.

Now, this is an old American fantasy — the fantasy of individual action. The idea that everything can be fixed by our individual actions — the more heroic, the better. But collective action? Cooperation? Those can never be allowed to exist. It’s the same myth, really, that caused America to end up without a working healthcare, education, or retirement system. Individual action, not collective action — everything’s your fault, and therefore, your responsibility, too. The system can never be at fault. There shouldn’t be a system for anything in the first place, except for anything but profit…
"There shouldn’t be a system for anything in the first place, except for anything but profit."
 Need I really elaborate? OK, how "profitable" will be business entities in societies collapsing on multiple fronts owing to increasingly acute and severe worldwide climate degradation? Seriously?

BTW, see my April 22nd post "An #Earthday reflection from Baltimore."
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More to come...

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