"A dream that became a reality and spread throughout the stars..." James T. Kirk
As I travel or "messenger" friends around the globe, the story is too familiar. Droughts in Thailand ( the government talks of seeding the clouds to bring on the rain) or Australia (ongoing 6 years of drought for Aussies), winds, cold and rain in Hawaii, devastating wind storms mowing down trees in Vancouver`s Stanley Park, record high temperatures in summer of North America and severe heat waves are becoming more common in Europe. This is just people talking and me listening. More anecdotal than scientific but the scientific community is piling on with enough concern to ring the bells of "karmageddon" around the world.
Now stories of climate change consequences are getting media attention on a level that gave "eco-activists" wet dreams not long ago. Climate science is sexy. Thanks to Al Gore. He may be rich and he may be a politician (these seem the best complaints his critics can raise) but his "An Inconvenient Truth" has made this story sexy. And the world wide media in all its lucid forms is like " a dog with a bone" that can`t get enough. Its fun to watch. But will it last? I hope so.
Me, I`m Mr. Positive. I see the future in a snapshot of hugs, kisses and endless goodwill among all human beings. Then I wake up, pinch myself and think about what really is and what might be? Are we at the proverbial crossroads for mankind? Is "the fat lady singing"?
Doubtless the average Jane doesn't have time to worry about saving the world. Life is tough enough and too many lying bastards (i.e. politicians) poison the well. And I`ll be long dead before this climate change bullshit hits the ground. Technology will save our kids. Vote for instant gratification and roll the dice!!
But before we gamble for future generations I wish everyone had to vote in a popular election and consider possibilities, like this excerpt from "Deep Economy" by Bill McKibben, that are too possible to ignore!
" If you want to argue that an economy structured like ours makes sense for the whole world, here are the kind of numbers you need to contend with: given current rates of growth in the Chinese economy, the 1.3 billion residents of that nation alone will be, by 2031, as rich as we are. If they then eat meat, milk and eggs in the same quantities as we do, calculates eco-statistician Lester Brown, they`ll consume 1352 million tons of grain, or 2/3 of the entire world`s 2004 grain harvest.. They`d use 99 million barrels of oil a day, 20 million more barrels than the entire world consumes at present. If China`s coal burning were to reach the current US level of nearly 2 tons per person, says Brown, then China would use 2.8 billion tons annually-more than the current world production of 2.5 billion tons. They`d use more steel than all the West combined.. Paper? At the American rate, they would consume 303 million tons, roughly twice the current world production. Cars? They`d have 1.1 billion cars on the road, half again as many as the current world level. And that`s just China. By then India will have a higher population, and its economy is growing almost as fast. And then there`s the rest of the world!
Sure growth rates may vary but don`t expect the mantra of growth and global prosperity to wind down anytime soon. And there are economies in Brazil, Indonesia and Asian Tiger countries that won`t want to be left behind. The possibilities in growth of economies and resource use here are staggering. Growth is" the needle" and we can only imagine the "damage done".
Can a Global (i.e. United Nations) pro action ever be more important. Kyoto is the start but it needs a tune up and this can`t be a piecemeal movement. The numbers and the building case for climate volatility scream world wide implications. There is a building case for a global train wreck. We need an International agreement on the level of Kirk`s "Federation of Planets". And we can boldly go where mankind has only gone before in the movies or on TV. Imagine!
Maybe, just maybe, we can demand that politicians offer a vision beyond a 1% GST tax cut or more capital gains and that we face a sustainable economy for future generations. We are more than ever global citizens and we`re in this space ship together. And I`m voting for Captain Kirk and the Starship Enterprise in our next election. Karmageddon can be a true battle of vision over denial and some blue sky for the kids! They deserve our best.