Global Warming Discussions Need Apocalyptic Thinking Or Something

Global Warming Discussions Need Apocalyptic Thinking Or Something

Because there’s no better way to get people behind a political movement than to have Chicken Little as the spokesperson

Why Hope Is Dangerous When It Comes to Climate Change
Global warming discussions need apocalyptic thinking.

This is from Tommy Lynch at Slate, which is trying to go Full Salon, as he finally has his take on the nutty piece about Earth soon being too hot to support humanity

Lots of people worry about climate change, but as David Wallace-Wells shows in his recent New York magazine piece, the future is almost certainly worse than you imagine. Drawing on a wide range of experts, he tracks how climate change could alter every aspect of planetary existence. Ocean acidification gives rise to oxygen-eating bacteria. Melting ice results in the absorption of more sunlight and greater warming. Rising temperatures hasten the destruction of plants that replenish our oxygen. As things get worse, they will get worse faster.

Tommy yammers on for quite a while, even getting into what philosophers think about hope and stuff, before arriving at Doomy Land

That world is ending: a world of eating food shipped from country to country, a world of discount airlines, widespread meat consumption, and constant air conditioning. The problem with hoping for a technological solution to climate change is that it is often insufficiently critical of the ways of life that wreaked havoc on the rest of nature. It is easier to hope for a wild geoengineering solution than face the reality that billions of people need to change their daily habits in order to lessen the immense suffering appearing on the horizon. This hope cruelly prevents us from confronting the deep structural challenge of rethinking the way that some humans relate to nature. Obviously not all people experience this world in the same way, and it is a further tragedy that those who have contributed the least to climate change will be among those who experience its consequences earliest.

Some responses to Wallace-Wells’ piece have decried its alarmism and despair. But Slate’s Susan Matthews has already argued that it is not alarmist enough. I agree—and I would add that its hopeful conclusion also avoids the pessimism necessary for confronting the reality of the changes ahead. (snip)

If Moore is right, then the patterns of production and consumption at the heart of the global economy are integral to global warming. Maybe that way of life isn’t worth saving. Kafka reportedly once said that there is “plenty of hope, an infinite amount of hope—but not for us.” Rather than investing in technological salvations that will allow us to prolong a way of life that is destroying the rest of nature, we can embrace pessimism. In abandoning hope that one way of life will continue, we open up a space for alternative hopes.

These people. Utter Debbie Downers. Whiners who always want Other People to be forced to be part of the “solution.” Interestingly, the more apocalyptic they become the more people stop caring about anthropogenic climate change, which in turn causes the Cult of Climastrology to become more apocalyptic in an attempt to drag people back to caring. Twenty five years of spreading awareness, especially through a mostly liberal media around the world, and this is what they’ve come to.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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