Time to Get Serious…

Photo by Marilyn Cornelius, taken at the Op ML protest outside Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership training in San Francisco, Nov 2012.

Photo by Marilyn Cornelius, taken at the Op ML protest outside Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership training in San Francisco, Nov 2012.

Imagine going to a doctor with a persistent mild fever and a lump the size of a coconut by the side of your head. The doctor examines you and says that the lump is cancerous and causing your fever, but the best he can do is to limit your fever to 2C!

Would you then plead with him to limit your fever to 1.5C? Or would you ask him about the cancerous lump?

When you ask him about the lump, suppose the doctor says, “Oh, that cancer will grow! I will make sure that it doubles in size as quickly as possible!”

Wouldn’t you run away from such a doctor?

But that’s precisely what our world leaders have been doing in the context of climate change. They are all exercised about the fever that the Earth has contracted while they are studiously ignoring the cancer that is our consumer society, because they are stuck in a growth-oriented socioeconomic system that is based on consumption as an organizing value and competition as an organizing principle. They either don’t know how to get unstuck or they are too frightened that they would lose their private plane privileges in an environmentally benign socioeconomic system.

Even the man who inspired us on this path, former Vice President Al Gore, is too frightened to talk about the cancer while he is truly exercised about the fever. And in such a craven political setting, the newly elected US President, Donald Trump, is rightly pointing out that if we are all pretending that the cancer doesn’t exist, why don’t we also start pretending that the fever doesn’t exist?

Why, indeed?

Because reality keeps intruding upon our reverie?

Because billions of human lives are at stake?

Because trillions of non-human lives are at stake?

It is time to get serious.

Our mission is to heal the Earth’s climate, not maintain it precariously in an advanced state of disrepair. Since the system cannot support such healing, the system will be changed.

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