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Everybody Needs a Climate Thing


Everybody Needs a Climate Thing

David Roberts

In my response to Jonathan Franzen, I said that birds are his Climate Thing — that one angle at which climate has intersected with his interests and caught his attention. He now uses it as a proxy, a lens through which to view the entire issue. Everyone who writes or thinks about climate change for a living knows what a Climate Thing is and has encountered many on their travels. Some of them are, to put it kindly, eccentric.


“Maybe climate is so abstract and nonlinear, spread over such huge geographical and temporal distances, that the intellectual and emotional work required to fully apprehend it is simply out of reach for most ordinary people, living lives in the present, surrounded by people and problems that affect them directly.”

The same could also be said about a global economy spurred by a gargantuan market in derivatives, about the complexity of Middle East Wars, and about many elements of government. The point is, rather than making the matter into the perfect “frame” that captivates everyday citizens, it’s about power.

Power mobilizes people and resources when it has an agenda, particularly The Agenda of War.

As is being shown in California, while the governor has begun the process of ecological necessity stemming from a position of leadership, the criticism is that consumer needs make up at best 20% of water consumption. That similar measures MUST be applied to the odious energy extractive industries as well as farming and agriculture.

Those who focus on what buzzword will win the most number of civic hearts take the spotlight away from those government agencies captured by the very industries they were designed to regulate.

When industries that profit from their overuse of natural resources are not part of the calculus of rollbacks, the problem remains unsolved.


To me, this isn’t so hard. " It’s the economy stupid"… In other words, as long as we have an capitalist industrial economy, we are screwed. We need an economy that puts an end to extractive economic practices… like gold and silver. Sh*t we have enough of the GD stuff…just an example…
We need to really think about WHERE WE ARE AT IN THIS FIGHT. We are at the end of the rope. We do not have time to tweak our message or tweak our approach. We need a very serious ACTION right now, hold the damn Co2 …program. We could immediately put in place things like breaking down our agri business farms, give out land to many different people… who would in turn farm a few acres, organically, and mostly or completely without fossil fuels… we could for give all debt… we could allow people to work from home to supply the needs of THEIR OWN COMMUNITY. YOu say we feed the world, so how can we break down agri business?.. How can we live on a dead planet…?

All I am doing here is giving out some examples… that’s all… of an over all approach that sees the problem as so completely dire and immediate that we do not get to make all the people happy all the time… We need to JUST DO IT…
we won’t … we will keep up the wars, we will say we need electric cars and mass transit … because, you know, traveling!! … .It takes 7 gallons of oil for one car tire… and extracting all the metal to make those mass transit trains… how much ff’s will it take to make that? … and clearing the path for the track?..Sometimes I think we are just plain stupid…
God forbid we live a simple life… I don’t think humans can do that any more. We are spoiled…
I know that kind of life sounds unlivable… but, if we do not do that… we can hang it up… HUmans have not lived on this planet at 400 ppm…of C02 and the lag time for the affects are aobut 40 years… we have a very big surprise coming … quite soon…


Arguments over the best approach to mitigation or adaptation will continue, of course, as long as there are limited resources…

Ask me about fusion energy. Little H-bombs in big containers, ignited by high energy beams of heavy ions from gigantic particle accelerators. That’s our chance for virtually unlimited resources. Don’t simply take my word for it, but don’t discount me either. After all, believing wind and solar will save our sorry butts is the craziest, riskiness idea there is.