The Capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, is at imminent threat of devastation from rising sea levels and extreme weather events. So much so that the nation is naming another, inland city as its capital and making plans to relocate fifteen million people away from Jakarta. It took time for me to fully appreciate this fact. This is 2019. Climate Change is with us, not some distant prediction.
Greta Thunberg spoke on USA TV last night, watched by millions, and observed that in America the issue of Climate Change is something people either choose to believe or not. In Sweden, it’s a question of science and fact. But even if you don’t read the science, the images from the Bahamas or the Amazon or Indonesia cannot fail to offer a sense of something different, something happening, something powerful.
The real problem is the failure of the politicians and their media empires to tell us the facts or anything approximating to the Truth. The IPCC offers the most conservative of estimates, excluding impacts of feedback loops and other phenomena that accelerate the warming impacts (they’re quick to note the aspects of climate that may de-escalate the process). The Committee on Climate Change, the adviser to Government in the UK, chooses to carefully downplay the IPCC report, reducing its concerns to the practical aspects of adaptation rather than prevention:
“…the UK needs to reduce food waste, promote healthy diets, use land sustainably, and improve the condition of habitats; including planting more trees and restoring degraded soils. All of these steps will help to improve people’s lives, improve resilience to climate change and reduce the harmful emissions which cause climate change.”
And so the media focuses on reducing use of plastics (a singular bi-product of oil) and encouraging us to eat less meat. Their suggestions are fine but won’t stop the catastrophe. This is not so much a lobby group, it’s “independent status” particularly suspect from the start, but a propagandist for business almost as usual.
The CCC is quoted at the very start of the Trade Union Congress resolution this week, calling for a Just Transition to carbon neutral economy by 2050. One conservative summation of the science after another ends up being so weak and distorted as to effectively prevent any action of the scale required to prevent the catastrophe.
The question raised again and again is, exactly what does the Establishment, the Capitalist class, their governments and media propagandisers, intend to happen as cities are flooded, food shortages intensify, viruses spread as pandemics, droughts spark water wars and hundreds of millions migrate toward razor-wire fences and mass internment camps?
Many of us, having leaflets the local factory or office, attended the weekly organising meeting, smiled back at rabid abuse hosted towards our street stalls, or finished a little gardening to escape the anxiety-inducing news broadcasts, sit and ponder the global state of ruling class intransigence. They can’t possibly “believe” that they can survive where billions cannot. Can they?
The accumulation of unconscionable wealth in the hands of the very, very few has escalated unimaginably in the last few decades. Is that a symbol of some level of preparation by the rich and powerful for them to afford safe places, sheltered habitats, guarded living space behind high walls in which their families “ride-out” an almost unimaginable holocaust of most of humanity and current life on Earth?
It is possible. Theirs is a belief in their System (from which they have profited so well). They may feel it impossible to contemplate not only their own demise but that of the world they rule, the power they sense and impose on others. Belief is fed by emotion and feeds back into our senses as a loop. It may well be that the Capitalists are no more able to honestly face the Truth and contemplate societal breakdown than the rest of us. Or maybe, just maybe, that’s what they want. A mass cull of the unprofitable poor of the world. But that’s for another Blog.
Friday 13th September 2019