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We Can’t Fight Climate Change if We Keep Lying to Ourselves


#1

We Can’t Fight Climate Change if We Keep Lying to Ourselves

Chris Hedges

We must embrace a despair that unflinchingly acknowledges the bleak future that will be created by climate change. We must see in any act of resistance, even if it appears futile, a moral victory. African-Americans understand, in a way perhaps only the oppressed can grasp, that our character and dignity will be measured by our ability to name and resist the malignant forces that seem to hold us in a death grip. Catastrophic climate change is inevitable. Our technology and science will not save us. The future of humanity is now in peril. At best, we can mitigate the crisis.


#2

The only solution to save the entire Mediterranean from rising sea levels


#3

Grim though it is, the reality remains that to make any serious progress on reducing emissions and averting a global human extinction event, this (and other countries) country's pay-to-play political system has to go. Hedges is right. Engineering a capitalist solution to avert this fate is a fantasy.


#4

We can't level with our spouses.
My daughter has been taught to hate me. She has been abused to think that she wants to study marine biology.
I will support whatever she decides her major is going to be.

She lives 200 miles away and I see her for a few hours in the middle.
The state is going to great lengths to ensure that people are deprived of their humanity, unless you have a couple of million bucks.

This is what we are investing our resources in, the destruction of humanity. This is a fraction of the government's agenda, thanks to the politics of the wisely informed by theocracy representative.

The education, monetary and military trifecta is killing the planet.
The infection of these viruses is now pretty standard fare.
An extermination is the only way to eliminate this worse than ebola bug.


#5

Militant movement willing to break the law and attack the corporate state. Count me out. Hedges needs to calm down and actually analyze the problem. In the US many governments, state and local, and many corporations are working to fight climate change. We should work with them. In the US we have what appears to be a pathological political movement that denies reality, even scientific reality. The best way to combat would seem to be to try to reach its supporters in hopes of getting through to them. Many of these supporters are really ignorant about what climate scientists do and therefore scientists need to get out there in the public and educate, Scientific societies have said as much and hopefully are taking action on their words. One encouraging thing is that global emissions of CO2 from energy have not gone up in three years. Maybe that is a blip but maybe not. If somehow we can get global emissions to start declining by 2020 there is some hope we can stay below 2C or at least not go much beyond it. The next couple of years are critical. I think following the law is the best path and each of us can play some role, even if it seems insignificant. Everything adds up, Tiny changes can add up to big changes.


#6

Hedges and many of us HAVE analyzed the problem and would like to believe there is a possibility for critical mass developing to solve the problem. Unfortunately, facts and trends confirm that global civil war is the more likely path ahead irrespective of how much we may abhor it..


#7

We can't change what we refuse to see clearly


#8

A-MEN. And there are so many-too many to believe actually should exist-that simply find it INCONVENIENT to believe in real science. And REAL SCIENCE has confirmed, long ago, and by a vast majority, (97% comes to mind, again) that Global Warming is REAL, it's HAPPENING, and we better stop denying and start ACTING on it.
But so much stupidity exists, I doubt, somehow, we have the time to get rid of stupid and start healing the planet. But I admit I'm wrong much of the time; I hope I'm wrong on this, too. I hope we can get thru to them for our world's sake.


#9

The take-away message for me is veganism. I am an aspiring vegetarian with occasional lapses. Giving up dairy as well sounds excruciating. The numbers a very clear, though. My personal next step: committed vegetarian and aspiring vegan.


#10

The civil war is already here ray, and I don't mean this metaphorically. In calling for nonviolent revolution against capitalism (however you can do that), I think that Hedges is simply talking about tactics and strategies that are more effective than armed violence, which always ends badly


#11

Not me. Our species began as hunter/gatherers. We are omnivores. Many other species are simply hunters - like cats that kill millions of birds, squirrels and rabbits. Also many aquatic species. The problem is not meat itself, but the modes of production and distribution of meat (and vegetables for that matter). The central question is: are we going to live sustainably or die as a species? Scientifically, the answer is the latter. But science isn't everything.


#12

I'd deem it to be more enforced ignorance than stupidity, Vaquero.
Ignorance to me is the lack of knowledge - stupidity the rejection of
it.

Given the immense amount of misinformation from the usual suspects,
combined with the corpress' subjugation of the subject to inside page
status, when it does deign to deal with it, it's little wonder so many
folks in these here United States are woefully ignorant of the causes
and the consequences of climate change.

There's more to it than that, certainly - simply facing up to such a
forboding fact accounts for no little amount of the cognitive
dissonance.

I'm afraid only when hardship can no longer be avoided will the
sleepwalkers emerge from their slumber, and by then ...

But we press on, for what other path can we take?


#13

and further, the destruction of the eco-system. well, surely some life forms can survive our assault--and we can begin all over again. :practice makes perfect! :slightly_smiling_face:

p.s. i hope you're kidding about your daughter hating you. you seem like a nice person.


#14

Yep, very true. And I see it as prideful ignorance, an ignorance ingrained in the belief that if they reject, or ignore, a given thing...well, that thing does not exist. Either way, we must keep doing whatever we can in big and small ways, whenever we can...


#15

to stop lying to yourself, admit this: The toothpaste is out of the tube.

15 million + cars are added to the mix each year.
Air travel is going up.
Global shipping is up.
Meat consumption is up.
The population is on a trajectory to reach 9 billion from its current 7.5 billion.
Glaciers in Antarctica and the Greenland ice sheet are heading into the oceans.
Methane is leaking from the permafrost.
World leaders have dithered for decades...that's what they're paid to do.

We've already burned over 1 TRILLION barrels of oil. We burn 90 million more every day. Mass migrations will be starting within 20 years. No one wants migrants now. The time to have addressed this came and went.


#16

Sorry. Not true. Repeat, Not. True. The psychological gymnastics that middle-class USAns (and Canadians, Australians and a few other places) go through in order to avoid confronting the fact that they need to get rid or their cars would be quite humorous if it weren't so tragic. A vegan who drives a car has a far larger carbon footprint than a meat eater who lives car-free.


#17

Astounding exposition of existential facts. Brutally honest, explaining how climate change has been, and is, the root cause of all the social disintegrations of the last two decades plus.

Chris somehow manages to connect the dots and to show us how everything we have been told by the mainstream establishment is, in fact, wrong.

He cites sources that we normally don't hear about. He always quotes the wisdom of great thinkers.
The Zinn quote is especially relevant.

Yes, it's dark. That's the point. Someone has to say it. Chris Hedges does that better than anyone writing today, in my opinion.


#18

You nailed it with "the trifecta"!


#19

Hedges accurately details the coming global catastrophe. The only way to fight it is to destroy capitalism and replace it with planned socialist economies that could martial the tremendous effort and solutions now needed to avoid the human race from joining “the 99.9 percent of species that have vanished since life first appeared on earth”.

Unfortunately we may not have enough time left to wait for capitalism to finish destroying itself in the world wide economic collapse that many are predicting. But as Hedges suggests that could only mean the failure of state bureaucracies into rule by gangs and warlords. “Climate change is the unseen hand in unrest, social disintegration, chaos and war.” And there are piles of weapons of mass destruction not to mention the threat of tactical nuclear weapons such as “dirty bombs” being used by terrorists.

It does seem that the human race will soon be extinct thanks to greed. Yet as Hedges suggests “if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

As hopeless as it can seem the future could still surprise us if there are mounting acts against the capitalist parasites. A snowballing effect could still catapult us into the worldwide socialist revolution that is now the only salvation for the human race.


#20

I know this thread is dying on the vine (no comments for 8 hours), but here's my take. We have been warned for decades that climate change will drive the sixth extinction, along with human population growth and consequent habitat destruction. Let's remember that climate change is only a part of this extinction event, and that an extinction event, once under way (and this one is well under way), cannot be managed or averted. We're in it now, and it's going to proceed, and there will be human death on a massive scale. Be realistic. It's not just coming; it's here.

Regarding the climate change component of the sixth extinction, it is my opinion that we've passed the tipping point(s). Our response to climate change was puny 30 years ago; it remains puny today. The thought that we humans will rise up and respond and "save ourselves and our planet" is simply naive. We are simply not capable of changing enough causal factors quickly enough to make a difference. Now, before you condemn me for fatalism, which is understandably repugnant to many, please understand that I'm not asking you to agree with me, I'm only expressing my opinion that I simply don't believe we humans will respond adequately to make a difference. The sixth extinction will proceed.

Realistically, does anyone really think we can dismantle the military-industrial-financial complex and replace it with something better--whatever that may be--in a few short years, and then retool everything about the way everybody lives to make it sustainably responsive to the drastic and devastating consequences of climate change as they rapidly unfold in the years ahead? I think not. I think we will descend further down the course we're clearly on: more war, more displacement, more famine, more cholera, more sectarian conflict, more racism, more fossil fuel use, more radiation, more loss of fisheries, farmland, biodiversity....

So, if I really feels the sixth extinction is now inevitable, why write about it? Because, even in the face of inevitable catastrophe for the human species, I take comfort in a few ideas. First, the human species is not likely to die off completely or to destroy all life on Earth. Some of us will continue on because we are the ultimate weed species, adapted to live anywhere on the planet. Life on Earth is likely to continue no matter what happens to us. Evolution is like that. Remember, humans are no more special than any other species. We're just apes with opposable thumbs and a little more executive control of our impulses than our chimpanzee and bonobo cousins. We've been "successful" for a very short time compared to, say, sharks or crocodiles, and our success as a species is our very doom as we've populated the planet beyond its capacity to bear us.

And finally, the inevitability of the sixth extinction is no reason not to try to fight it. The "good fight" is the good fight, regardless of the outcome. So, go vegan, stop flying on airplanes, participate in the resistance--just don't expect it to "save" anything. Indeed, celebrate the sixth extinction as the beginning of the next big turn of the evolutionary wheel. Our lives will end. The human species may well end. Life will go on.