Friday, October 27, 2006

Coping with Climate Dread ::

Coping with Climate Dread ::
Depleted fish stocks, species extinction, SUV and oil obsessions, Kyoto rejections, disenfranchized youth, the Alberta tar sands and deadly methane gas: Condon says 'an emerging consensus' is setting in among his colleagues; 'Every hour of [our] work is in the context of 'Can the madness be stopped?'' he relates. 'And when you're looking critically at the information, and using your critical functions, you often conclude that it can't be.'
I don't often conclude that the madness can't be stopped. It is my conclusion, period.

Which is a bitter pill to swallow, when the conclusions you draw from your professional life spell a disastrous future for your own children. When she's at her lowest, Campbell has moments where she looks at her son and second guesses the wisdom of having brought a child into the world.
That's the hardest part of all.

Rees gets philosophical: "I suppose I'm an existentialist: you have to decide what you're going to do," he says. "I mean I could go and shoot myself, I'm wealthy enough to put my feet up, go out and buy myself a boat and a case of rum and enjoy the remaining days of my life."

But, like the others, Rees has resolved to continue the fight, and to see global warming through, in whatever shape or form life on earth takes in the coming decades. Just because this is the grimmest thing we've ever faced as a species doesn't mean they're throwing in the towel. Far from it.

But it's going to take some work.

"The very tendencies that gave [us such] a leg up in the competition with the other species 50,000 years ago are maladaptive today," Rees concludes.

"Now, if we are intelligent enough to recognize that, at least in theory we should be able to over-ride our biological predispositions. If we don't, we're doomed."
If we don't, we're doomed.

The title of this piece is "Coping with Climate Dread". Expanding the scope only makes the outlook worse.

My own prescription for coping is one of resignation, acceptance, hoping against hope that I'm wrong, and trying to live in the present.

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