Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Misanthopic Musings

The most recent dead tree version of The Nation arrived the other day with a couple interesting observations.  An editorial about the Rio + 20 summit noted how difficult dealing with climate change is for a capitalist world where consumption and profit are a primary motivation.  I am a pessimist about the likelihood of any effective solution.  It has the upside that the human species might vanish from the planet or be sufficiently diminished so as to no longer be a threat.  The downside is that we will take most other species along with us.  For that reason alone, it is worth pursuing the mass actions needed to prevent the planet from becoming far less habitable.

It also reminds me yet again of the failure of My Generation.  We came of age during the time of the first Earth Day with dreams of saving the environment.  Forty years on, we are senior citizens who not only failed to live up to that dream but also bought wholly into the myth of capitalist accumulation.   We have lived well as the planet slowly succumbed to our excesses wrapped in the myth that we could deal with systemic environmental problems, just not now when it could be inconvenient.

Katha Pollitt discusses the fact that 46 percent of Americans are creationists, noting that almost half of the nation rejects the overwhelming evidence of evolution.
...[R]ejecting evolution...relies on a fundamentally paranoid worldview.  Think what the world would have to be like for evolution to be false.  Almost every, scientist on earth would have to be engaged in a fraud so complex and extensive it involved every field from archaeology, paleontology, geology and genetics to biology, chemistry and physics. 
We are a society of fools.  And while it is certainly just that we reap what we have sown, Mother Earth and the many species who also share this planet have done nothing to merit the fate that we have prepared for them.

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