Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Watching the sunrise over Portland. "No, wait, that's not the sun!"

Watching the sunrise over Portland. "No, wait! That's not the sun. What the fuck is
or, anticipating the future on the edge of our seats! (It's gonna be a nail biter!)

Tuesday evening I watched a two hour ABC presentation on Global Warming in the 21st Century. The prognosis wasn't good. Eager to sample other impressions taken from that show, I mentioned it to the woman behind the checkout counter at the grocery store today.

"I didn't watch it," she said, adding, "I don't believe it." She concluded with, "I don't think anything's changing."

Considering my retort for a second, I smiled and said, "Well, I certainly hope you're right."

"What do you think?" she asked. I simply said, "I guess I'm glad I'm as old as I am -- just in case that program is right. I would hate to have that future to look forward to."

She poohed, poohed me. She seemed to think everything would be just fine.

But it reminded me of the underlying premise of Dada's Dally. As much as I am distracted here by minor outrages of day to day politics and its resulting wars with their little sideshow torturings and slaughters of innocents, or economic miseries resulting from inequalities, exploitations or indifference to the impoverished masses, etc., there's a greater underlying dynamic at work here that may ultimately affect us all in ways yet unimagined. That's because we're in the middle of a mass extinction and, if I remember correctly, last night's show said one third of all species could vanish. (That seems conservative to me at the moment, because I think we've already extinguished that many in my lifetime.)

As with most programs thrashing amongst the flotsam of such doom and gloom, however, the obligatory 'ray of hope' for a better world was offered up at the end of the program. That is, after 80% or more of us perish getting to it. ("Oh gee, get my hopes up!")

Having forgotten the name of the ABC presentation, I just did a Google search for it. The number two hit was from a website entitled, "Business and Media Institute, Advancing the Culture of Free Enterprise in America." As if that didn't clue me, its headline did: "ABC Turns to Doomsday Propaganda to Push Global Warming Solutions. Network spends two hours predicting future, promoting Obama and left-wing climate ideas or mankind doomed to new 'dark ages.' "

Maybe that explains my grocery checker's optimism. She listens to different radio than I. Yet, despite extreme weariness from the endless line of shoppers with carts full of groceries complaining about the soaring prices of everything, she sees this as just a continuation of the past into the future. While I, on the other hand, am dreading the future but hopeful that Nature, which mankind often considers himself outside of or beyond, will eventually work it all out for the best of all of us, even if it means our eradication.

That's where I place my frightening hope. Oh, and by the way, the name of the ABC program was “Earth 2100,” not that any of us has to worry that far into the future.


Fran said...

Never mind the science....

The planet-- if you ignore it, it will go away!

D.K. Raed said...

I DVR'd it so I could watch later, hopefully before 2100. It was Bob Woodruff's interview on Jon Stewart that even alerted me to the program. I certainly didn't see any promo about it.

I've found what most people mean when they say they don't belive in global warming is that they don't believe man is causing it. Unless I'm talking to Glenn Beck (there are a lot of his ilk around here), my response is usually whether you believe man is causing it or not, you surely know that man has always manipulated his environment to suit himself, going back to caves, fur and fire and fast forwarding to today's air conditioned skyscrapers. Even if you don't believe man is in any way causing the Earth's environment to change, you surely believe that we need to keep manipulating the environment to our satisfaction?!?

Sometimes I get a begrudging nod to this nonsense. Nonsense because at the root I am still glad I won't be here in 2100 ... and neither will much other life on earth ... and what is left will either figure it out or won't. Earth will survive just fine with less life. Or as George Carlin once said, the planet will shake us off like a dog shakes off fleas ... and then we might finally understand what a special place in the universe this was ... and in that final moment of comprehension will come the defining moment of mankind as some of us experience regret that we caused our own extinction. extinction ...

Border Explorer said...

So few people speak the truth, or even recognize it. We hide. We deny.

Whatever will be...will be. As you've expressed so well, I doubt it will be good. For us, that is. It will be better for the cosmos in the long run, I suspect.

D.K. Raed said...

OMG, I finally watched it! It featured some of my favorite people (Kuntsler, Podesta, and the author of "Guns Germs and Steel", Jared Diamond). So, the only good part of the future comes when Vegas dies?

ps, that reminds me I've been meaning to read Diamond's more current "Collapse: How Societies choose to fail or succeed". GGS was subtitled "the fates of human societies". He already won my heart with "The Third Chimpanzee" years ago. Ever read any of those?

Dada said...

Fran: Great double entendre, i.e., "if you ignore it, it will go away."
You're on a roll lately.

D.K. - yes, I got the impression from the checkout clerk man has nothing to do with warming. (But even if that is/was true, wouldn't you wan to at least try to reduce the damage by cutting back on your contribution?

As for the movie: Yes, as much as I wouldn't miss LV, I'd rather keep it if we could save New York.

As far as reading any of Diamond's stuff: I'm way under read and way over written. (Too much blog, not enough "book" reading. I think I read the term is, "Google-ized"?)