Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/21/youth-adults-join-us-climate-fight
I read McK with a large grain of salt these days. That said, this is one of his better efforts, I think.
For the rest of us — those who will die before climate change reaches its burning zenith — the strike is a chance to show that our theoretical affection for our children and their children is sincere.
This odd passage, near the conclusion, has a lot to say. On the look-out for futile delusions, one spots McK’s implicit assumption that, within the lifetimes of children today, climate change will reach its “burning zenith.” (Translation: hottest point.) That’s from nowhere. There’s no science to support any backing down from this warming for thousands of years.
But there’s something else uncomfortable in this passage: resembling New England stiffness and propriety. I doubt any Californian could write that “theoretical affection” phrase. This dude seems cold to me. I’m sorry. The words you choose set an example. There’s nothing wrong with saying it out loud: Those who don’t care about the Climate Catastrophe don’t really love their own children. Time to cut through the polite euphemisms, now that the icecap is saying goodbye.
Could this phrase be considered an euphemism? Usually when I respond to one of your posts, I feel dowsized but this time I am amused by your distaste of the author’s New England Style. I really like your post but it amuses me.
Even if, as even a lot of people here say, it is ultimately pointless and we passed the point of no return long ago we owe it to the younger generations to at least try. If for nothing else than being the closest we can do to earn forgiveness for damning their futures and the future of the species.
Hi Mary Grayeske,
I’ve totally screwed up if you feel downsized by me. I’m just a little extra loquacious, due to classes I’ve been taking from Anthony Trollope. But underneath the experiments in marginal literacy, I’m in no position to look down my ethnically-ambiguous nose at anyone.
The icecap is saying goodbye, friend. That’s the big one they told you wouldn’t be until 2100 or so. Turns out it’ll be in a couple of years or so. “Euphemism” means obscuring the truth with fancy phrases, not bringing forth blunt truths in blunt language.
September 20: Strike For Climate!
Everywhere. No. Excuses.
Get out in the streets!
A worthy mission, our planet needs us!
I’m also a McKibben skeptic – he’s a bit pro-business solution oriented for my tastes – but you do him a disservice by taking exception to his “theoretical affection” line without also noting that he uses that terminology to set up a comparison to “sincere” affection. Just sayin.’
The sharpest thorn in my heel, from McK, is the name of that organization. What a terrible idea! There’s less than a snowball’s chance in Hell of atmospheric CO2 ever getting to less than it is now, 415 ppm, in any temporal frame relevant to humans. Just what is the point of imagining there might be a way to go back in time to 350 ppm, of naming a climate-action organization after a certifiable delusion?
That one makes no sense to me. Might as well call it DonQuixote dot org. McK just looks like Sancho Panza anymore, because of the awful, short-sighted blunder: 350 dot dot dot.