We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, February 23, 2014

California's severe drought exposes civilization's thin veneer

Click here to access article by David Horsey from Los Angeles Times.
The severe drought in California and much of the West is a reminder that civilized life is a paper-thin veneer that overlays the deep upheavals of nature. Humans carry on blithely, holding fast to the illusion that the natural world can be tamed and exploited with no unavoidable consequences. Then we get slammed by a hurricane, a flood, a tornado, a wildfire, a drought or a freezing polar vortex that lets us know how wrong we are.
Yet, after each disaster, we forget again -- which is the reason so few of us give any sustained attention to the climate change peril. It is similar to the way we think about death. We know it’s coming, but we would drive ourselves crazy if we thought about it all the time. As a result, we revert to living in the moment or counting on promises of heaven. 
Well, obviously there is another reason: climate crisis denial throughout corporate media. Just like they denied for many decades the relationship between asbestos and lung diseases of miners and construction workers and the relationship of tobacco smoking and lung cancer, so now they have cranked up their megaphones to cast doubt about climate denial. Why? Because the impending climate crises are putting an end to their addiction to wealth and power delivered by their beloved capitalist system, and like all addicts they deny that their habit causes any harm.

Although more recently there has been some improvement in media coverage of the climate crisis, but they continue to project timelines for the crisis way out into the future, and promote and promise all kinds of crazy ideas about technical fixes, mostly geoengineering fixes (see this and this). If you have ever lived with an alcoholic you will recognize all the symptoms of denial and resort to fantasies that corporate media has exhibited.