Monday, January 27, 2020

Jonathan Franzen - What If We Stopped Pretending?

The climate apocalypse is coming. To prepare for it, we need to admit that we can’t prevent it.

We could have averted the climate disaster, and investors could have made their fortune out of renewables. Green energy was not anti-capitalism, it was a new market for entrepreneurs. Oil companies would have had a lucrative business for many years to come as we needed the oil for fertilisers, plastics, and chemicals.

The billionaires who run the fossil companies didn't need anymore wealth, and the wealth tied up in the unextracted oil would have been passed onto to their offspring, maybe for generations. 

Scared of being called Alarmists, scientists have not spoken about the worst that can happen, which seems now is likely going to be the outcome. 

Also, if it's too late, the deniers will say, 'well, if everyone is going to die anyway, why worry about it, we might as well keep burning the oil until the party's over?'

Today, the scientific evidence verges on irrefutable. If you’re younger than sixty, you have a good chance of witnessing the radical destabilization of life on earth—massive crop failures, apocalyptic fires, imploding economies, epic flooding, hundreds of millions of refugees fleeing regions made uninhabitable by extreme heat or permanent drought. If you’re under thirty, you’re all but guaranteed to witness it.

The New Yorker


Peter Pan said...

Most people assume that our way of life is sustainable, and aren't worried about climate change. Sort of how we assume we'll live until we're in our seventies, or as long as our parents lived.

Assuming is a substitute for believing. If the author believes we are pretending, or are in denial about climate change, he's misreading human behavior.

The vast majority of people are not thinking about apocalypse, and their thoughts will never dwell upon such topics, until they are personally affected.

Kaivey said...

I hope he's wrong about a lot of things.

Peter Pan said...

What would you feel if you gave up hope?

Peter Pan said...

Yes, the Climate Crisis May Wipe out Six Billion People

Kaivey said...


Bob Roddis said...

The making of concrete causes around 8% of all CO2 emissions. Fiat funny money loans and emissions artificially stimulate the unsustainable overbuilding of buildings and roads. Further, because fiat funny money is constantly diluted and thus loses its value, people are compelled to purchase and develop real estate as a store of value.

Of course, Climate Change is a hoax for the weak minded, but assuming it was true, it would only make sense to stop further artificial creation of fiat funny money so that overbuilding is not stimulated. Anyone still proposing Keynesian and fiat funny money stimulation can't be serious about Climate Change.

Peter Pan said...

China's Belt & Road initiative, if it comes to fruition, will use a lot of concrete. An opportunity for some serious money to be made.