How Do You Talk About The Actual End of the World?

With poetry

You can write

About the end

Just as with the Copernican revolution, or the establishment of modern democratic states, or the idea of equality between men and women, the stories of landmark moments and decisive victories can overshadow the slower pace of cultural adaptation. On fundamental issues of belief, human societies may require a century or more to truly change.

That’s a particular problem when disasters approach in a matter of decades — in a sense, the timeline is both too slow and too quick for our cultures to handle.

“The problem with climate change is the scale,” Magnason said.

“A leader of a nation has never talked about the surface of the ocean or how he is melting glaciers [before]. Moses parted the Red Sea and we remember that still. But that was just for a day or two! … Elements that humans thought were a symbol of eternity … these extreme forces that we believed were beyond us, now we see we’re damaging that.”

It’s a difficult day, as more people realize just how little time we have to reduce pollution. How can we stop our society from hitting the ice berg, when we’ve been scraping it for over a century already? It could be another century before we’ve got our bearings about where we’re at just now. Good thing we’ll have preserved shareholder value in the fossil fuel industry for another few years, that will make so much sense if people get to look back on what we accomplished.

A solution has to start with people who accept there is a problem being in charge of implementing solutions. Right now we have maniacs and morons in charge in some places like Saskatchewan, the UK, and nearly any political jurisdiction, who’ll happily claim they aren’t climate crisis Deniers because they’ve pollution reduction strategies squarely aimed at 2050. Here’s a clue geniuses, #MathIsHard because 2021 plus 5.5 years is 2026. Have a plan that is on its way to working by 2025, or…





Saskatchewan Legislature, Premier’s balcony

3 responses to “How Do You Talk About The Actual End of the World?

  1. The climate hens (in the form of killer heatwaves, sustained and flash droughts, sustained and flash floods, uncontrollable wildfires reaching far inside the Arctic Circle, insect and pest migration, severe storm events of increasing frequency, intensity and duration, sea level rise and ocean acidification) have come home to roost.

    Pakistan has had bouts of Wet Bulb 35. Iraqis protest electricity cuts as temperatures soar to 50C+. How do you talk about that? We largely don’t.

    Even people who identify as progressives don’t want to talk about it. They stand exposed in their hypocrisy.

    In my view, John, while the science may be complex and evolving, the problem is really very simple. We either accept the need to live in harmony within the finite limits of our environment, Spaceship Earth, or it will be done for/to us. Those who are latitudinally advantaged have some options to do this on our terms but, if not, no matter.

    For 20, 30 years we’ve been told what awaits us if we don’t sharply alter course. We know what that entails. Yet we’re still led by politicians who embrace neoliberal economic models based on perpetual exponential growth. We’re running such ecological/resource deficits that our house of cards global order is wobbling.

    We’re all Pompeiians now, keeping a wary eye on the smoke and steam coming from Vesuvius while staying put, inviting our fate.

    How do you talk about that?

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