Not only did the NYT article about the political climate “tragedy in two acts” get the climate facts wrong. He got the dramatic facts wrong, too.
The dramatic facts of Tragedy he left out that apply to the drama of global warming:
Dramatic Fact One: Hubris. The specific form of “pride” called “hubris” in ancient Greece was wanton, reckless, blind denial of a tragic fate and tragic reality. Dramatically speaking, any and all forms of climate denial are not – NOT – “human nature.” They are the ‘nature’ of hubristic humans. Hubristic humans deny climate change – not “humans.”
Dramatic Fact Two: In the actual tragic, dramatic plot, the tragic protagonist, who is always a figure of power, denies they have a tragic fate, and blindly, recklessly, hubristically, drives himself toward catastrophe – the plot point. Originally, the word “catastrophe” was a formal dramatic term for the final [cata] turn [strophe] in the tragic plot that blind, willful, hubristic, empowered actors drive themselves to. It was a totalizing, ‘catastrophic’ loss of the tragic protagonist’s power to act to avert their tragic fate – that they have denied. As a result, they go down in a tragic fall out of power that hurts, and hurts bad.
In light of these dramatic facts, an accurate frame of climate change as a ‘tragedy in two acts’ would be:
Act One: Reckless, hubristic, climate deniers and the fossil fuel industry refuse to accept their tragic fate that the era of fossil fuels must come to an end for the sake of all life on earth, their lives and their children’s and grandchildren’s lives very much included.
Act Two: They go down in a big, bad, tragic fall.
The big question is: What is Act Three?