Wednesday, December 11, 2013

On Driving Into a Wall

Have you seen Inside Job? It’s a great film about the ins and outs of the mortgage crisis all in layman’s terms so even I could get my head around it all. The interesting thing about it to me is the film footage and books and articles that show the number of people who predicted the collapse long before it happened juxtaposed with the main players looking baffled that it all went down as predicted. In the film, Christine Lagarde said it was like there was a tsunami coming and everyone was trying to decide which swim trunks to wear.

That’s what people do. We are either outrageously short-sighted or unwilling to face real problems head-on.  And it's a dangerous way to be.

What I wonder is, did those top guns know it was all going to fall apart and have - even just in a small place in the backs of their clever little heads - an exit strategy? Or did they completely repress the thought that it might all come to an end? How authentic was their surprise and dismay? Because they all seem to be doing okay right now. None of the mucky-mucks are in jail or tragically destitute. Curious.

Buried on the very last page of last Thursday’s K-W Record is an article about a pair of studies from the National Research Council that show that climate change won’t occur gradually over a century or so, but that the planet is warming so quickly we should “expect abrupt and unpredictable consequences in a matter of years….” Here’s what the scientists say,

“To willfully ignore the threat of abrupt change could lead to more costs, loss of life, suffering and environmental degradation.”

And here’s how Canada responded,

And I wonder, do the top guy all have some underground lair somewhere with tons of clean water and food and that’s big enough for their entire families and generations to come so they can live through all the destruction that’s going to go down – forever? Or are they sitting ducks like the rest of us.

Well, not quite like the rest of us. They can hide behind their money for a while longer. And then we’ll be dropping by to have a chat.

Think how easy it will be to convince their armed guards to help us attack.

I'd rather not have a window seat, thanks.

* I can't find a direct link because The Record's search engine requires a location, and "world" isn't an option.

ETA more links:
The way global warming has affect the oceans is like 6 atomic bombs going off every second.
It's getting scary and politicians don't care.  We know what to do, but haven't the will to do it.


The Mound of Sound said...

Yes, the US NRC report was widely covered in other countries, not so much in the Petro-State we call Canada. Meanwhile the US Navy has concluded the Arctic could be ice-free in summer by 2016 which is 84-years earlier than forecast by the IPCC in 2007.

We're just beginning to see the impacts of the warmer Arctic and the more powerful Polar Jet Stream that can bring 96F temperatures to a little northern village in Alaska in the beginning of June and then plunge Europe into a deep freeze, turning the canals of Venice to ice.

We're seeing some interesting species migrating into the waters around Vancouver Island. Humpbacks have returned in big numbers. White-side dolphins are appearing in many hundreds. The once rare giant sunfish is now seen commonly. A sea turtle has been spotted by Haida Gwai. Humboldt squid from the Sea of Cortez are washing up on beaches near Tofino by the hundreds. There's now even a flock of pelicans taking up residence between the Victoria harbour and Race Rocks. Much of the sea life that's moving north is pursuing masses of anchovies that have migrated into our waters.

Marie, when you live in a place like this, the signs are unmistakable. Fish don't lie. Pelicans, imagine that.

Owen Gray said...

There are a couple of lines from Paul Simon's song,"The Boxer," that I can't forget, Marie:

"Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest."

Marie Snyder said...

My youngest, 9, had a pretty serious accident a year ago, and she's fully recovered, but once in a while, when she thinks of it, she shivers a bit - still recovering from the trauma of it all. I do that from time to time when I think about this too much. And yet we forge on. What else is there to do. I'd be curious to know how different people cope beyond distraction and escapism.