Posted by: atowhee | July 12, 2021

WE’VE PASSED THE POINT…

–Wallace Stegner, from The American West as Living Space:

[I would change only one tiny bit…pronghorn are not antelope but their own, unique form of ungulate.]

“American writer, Rebecca Solnit, has just openly stated that those mythical future climate “turning points” …they’re behind us now.

I find it a severe commentary on contemporary American culture that a fine, female writer who lives in the western U.S.–Solnit–has to get her current events commentary published in a British newspaper. American media of nearly all stripes are still leary of being upfront and direct on climate change and the destruction our species has wrought. The conservation groups are screaming, but so-called objective media not so interested.

Lake Mead drying up? Where is that anyhow? Vegas has dozens of water monitors? Ho-hum. 130 in Death Valley…such dry news. Firest fires galore? Well, whaddaya expect, all those trees you know…

Anybody wth an eye on reality now knows that fossil fuel profiteers exploit public ignorance, faith and anti-government skepticism to spread falsehoosds on the climate.* As long as Sen. McConnell maintains a stranglehold on U.S. government the minority of Americans who don’t want environmental change or regulation will prevent this nation from doing anything on a national scale. Why do we still adore natural gas, oil, and coal? Why are not all fossil fuel electricity generators on a short march to closure? Why are there not solar panels on all big box stores, over huge parking lots, over some expanses of Nevada and Arizona sunburnt desert. on my house and the local elementary school? Why do spend so much more on nuclear weapons and fighter planes than we do on installing solar panels? Anybody with a modicum of understanding of our current reality can see that producing bigger and more efficient batteries is going to be necessary if the earth and its competing cultures are not to plunge into violent and socially destructive chaos. How much are we spending in battery research compared, to say, TV ads during the Olympics or NFL games? Where can one find any sane environmental planning being done?

Serious heat.

Heat dome as marine life scourge.

Thirsty? Stay out of Vegas. Certainly Las Vegas now can claim to be the worst situated city in America, trumping New Orleans, Miami, New York, San Diego.

Shale oil production in U.S climbing.

One modern example of our species’ selfish disregard. Bottled water by the billions of bottles. In Panama I saw the empty bottles smashed down to become parking lot pavement.
More on America’s water bottle addiction.
EPA says about 30% recycled here;

https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/plastics-material-specific-data

*About lies and the folks who believe them, here’s a scathing commentary on how our culture (like many others) lies to us from birth and trains so many to believe the latest lie, especialy those of us who opt for easy living and easy answers. “God’s will” and so forth after the latest manmade disaster…say building your home two feet above sea level in hurricane country, or the millions of lives along the San Andreas Fault…

=========================

This blog garnered some thoughtful responses.
From one long-time friend and fellow sufferer:

“ ‘prevent this nation from doing anything on a national scale’ is, my opinion, the key problem.  McConnel’s dedication to the GOP’s presumptive donors, is currently significant, but he is just a passing actor on the stage.  Politics made him, if things get bad enough, politics can unmake him, and unmake the GOP.

“Of more concern to me is a structural weakness, the 10th amendment to the Constitution.  It doesn’t help that the current Supreme Court is loaded up with conservatives.  There may be a legal argument under the Commerce Clause to the Constitution that Federal authority must be expanded because the economy is collapsing, but it will a tough fight.  Otherwise, all the Feds can do is throw money at the States – with indeterminant, likely ineffective, uncoordinated, results.”

To that I could only say: Uncoordinated indeed, see covid and the effects in Missouri, Mississippi, the Dakotas, Arkansas, Wyoming, et al.
Worse yet, which my blog did not dive into…there are no easy national or even continental approaches to climate change…it is planetary, and unlike nuclear war it is too easy and simple to “see” that the other guy suffers and you get richer…again, see the international handling of covid. Africa where they still cook with charcoal in many rural areas was 2% vaccinated a week ago, even our red-nack states are over 30% vaxx.


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