In 2015, I gave a real downer of a lecture in Auckland. Mainly because I predicted that those who were in denial about climate change would not be adverse to making it worse. Not just continuing as we’ve been doing, with token efforts on the side to constrain carbon. No, to make climate change happen faster – because as a test of sincerity, it would be a demonstration that their denial is founded in belief. ‘Climate change isn’t consequential,’ so let’s double down.
That’s what’s happening.
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There are about 6.9 billion people on planet earth, distributed across 195 countries, speaking 6,500 different languages, practicing 21 major world religions, and governed by an assortment of monarchs, demagogues, corrupt politicians, and progressive democracies. There is no common understanding of reality other than the basic human need for each person to obtain food, clothing, and shelter by whatever means possible regardless of the environmental consequences. The pursuit of basic needs has produced a globalized machinery and an 80 trillion-dollar world economy much of which operates without environmental regulation. There is a kind of human detritus that covers the land, water, and ice surface of the planet resulting since the beginning of the industrial age in the extinction of more than 650 plant species and more than 480 animals. Over 3000 animals and more than 2600 plants are currently considered endangered. There is a trend here that likely will not be reversed by human action, leaving one to wonder when humans will find themselves on the endangered species list. There are few human societies that are able to survive environmental collapse, other than maybe lost tribes deep in Amazonia and a few agrarian societies here and there which might repopulate the earth with a new kind of human being…….? Or not.
IMHO the people with these attitudes are going to go down in history as being as bad as we ourselves view past transgressions such as slavery and disenfranchisement. Perhaps even worse.