The day the world went mad
By George Monbiot / guardian.co.uk
Sep 3, 2012

Yesterday was August 28th 2012. Remember that date. It marks the day when the world went raving mad.

Three things of note happened. The first is that a record Arctic ice melt had just been announced by the scientists studying the region. The 2012 figure has not only beaten the previous record, established in 2007. It has beaten it three weeks before the sea ice is likely to reach its minimum extent. It reveals that global climate breakdown is proceeding more rapidly than most climate scientists expected. But you could be forgiven for missing it, as it scarcely made the news at all.

Instead, in the UK, the headlines concentrated on the call by Tim Yeo, chair of the parliamentary energy and climate change committee, for a third runway at Heathrow. This sparked a lively debate in and beyond the media about where Britain's new runways and airports should be built. The question of whether they should be built scarcely arose. Just as rare was any connection between the shocking news from the Arctic and this determination to increase our emissions of greenhouse gases.

I wonder whether we could be seeing a form of reactive denial at work: people proving to themselves that there cannot be a problem if they can continue to discuss the issues in these terms.

The third event was that the Republican party in the United States began its national convention in Tampa, Florida – a day late. Why? Because of the anticipated severity of hurricane Isaac, which reached the US last night.

As Kevin Trenberth of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research, noted earlier this year:

"Basic theory, climate model simulations, and empirical evidence all confirm that warmer climates, owing to increased water vapor, lead to more intense precipitation events even when the total annual precipitation is reduced slightly … all weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be."

(h/t: Joe Romm at Climate Progress)

The Republican party's leading lights either deny climate change altogether, or argue that people can adapt to whatever a changed climate may bring, so there's nothing to worry about.

The deluge of reality has had no impact on the party's determination to wish the physical world away. As Salon.com points out, most of the major figures lined up to speak at the convention deny that man-made climate change is happening.

When your children ask how and why it all went so wrong, point them to yesterday's date, and explain that the world is not led by rational people.

www.monbiot.com

0.0 ·
0
Featured Pay Per View Films
Generation Revolution (2017)
72 min
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min
Trending Today
Paramedic's Response to "Burger Flippers" Making an Equal $15/Hour is Beautiful
Craig Carilli14,053 views today ·
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley4,078 views today ·
Wish I Voted for Sanders, Says Laid-Off Carrier Worker Duped by 'Con Man' Trump
Jake Johnson3,173 views today ·
Raoul Martinez on The Myth of Responsibility
5 min2,405 views today ·
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine1,990 views today ·
A Quest for Meaning (2017)
88 min1,673 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min1,346 views today ·
Why People Are Obsessed With Sex
Sofo Archon1,245 views today ·
Caring Too Much. That's the Curse of the Working Classes
David Graeber819 views today ·
Load More


Love Films For Action? 

It's hard to rely 100% on ads to keep our organization going.
If you feel like you get some value from this library, consider making a donation today.

Join us on Facebook
The day the world went mad