Thursday, October 18, 2007

How Dry was my Autumn

The seasons have certainly changed. You can tell here in North Carolina, because we've had a few days when it was actually comfortable outside - and even dipped down into the 40s at night. That's about as much as you can hope for, when summer's devoured the other seasons. Thanks, global warming! (And a special thanks to all the companies and pollutants they've pumped into the atmosphere, bringing this about! It couldn't have happened without you!)

Climate change - it's a popular topic these days. Of course, instead of seriously doing much of anything about it, we've politicized it (As is popular to do with any matters of science - if science can effectively prove it, it's evil, unamerican, and anti-capitalist.), because clearly the best way to resolve the issue is to tell everyone to shut up about it and pretend it doesn't exist. On the right, you've got viewpoints ranging from half-right (Claiming it's natural and should be happening like this, when the truth is that while climate change - the warming of the planet - is natural, it should be happening at a much, much slower pace. We've accelerated it by millennia through the abuse we've put this planet through.) to bat-shit insane ("Global Warming is an evil liberal myth concocted to attack industry and stop them from making money because liberals hate money! Let's kill them all now before it's too late!" ... Yeah, I kind of went a little Ann Coulter with that example.), entirely nonconstructive regardless in their focus on simply avoiding acknowledging the existence of a problem - let alone doing anything about it, as that'd entail holding corporations and in large part, the wealthy upper class, responsible for their actions.

Al Gore was recently among those awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Naturally, the right flipped out. After all, they don't want to agree with anything he's had to say, even though he successfully brought a great deal of awareness about the climate change crisis to the western world, and especially America, where we've been particularly slow on the uptake in acknowledging the existence of such a problem. On one hand, you have pundits declaring that George W. Bush should have been given it, simply to continue this never-ending war they see between Bush and Gore, constantly trying to tear down everything about Gore in order to conversely legitimize Bush's presidency, having never won the popular vote in the original election to begin with. (As for 2004, their own rhetoric of rule by fear was all too sadly successful in winning reelection.) On the other, you have idiots who insist that, on the grounds that Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, Gore - and by proxy, all Nobel Peace Prize winners - is a terrorist. I wish I was kidding.

While the politicians continue to fight amongst themselves - and accomplish nothing truly good or effective in regards to addressing the issue - everyday ordinary people seek out small ways they can contribute to slowing climate shift, while paying attention to its coverage. Here in North Carolina, we're facing the worst drought we have in ages - by far the worst I've seen in my thirteen years of living here. We've been plenty accustomed to summertime droughts and some amount of water restrictions - one has to wonder how many really bother to follow them, given their inconvenience, and the obsession many have with maintaining their immaculate green lawns - but this is the longest such a drought has spilled into the fall. Typically, the rain picks up much sooner and alleviates the problem. Now, all our local lakes are beginning to dry up entirely. The local paper's reported that our water supplies are expected to last just over another hundred days - in Durham nearby, they aren't even anticipating another hundred days - and that we'd need a good two feet of rain to get out of these conditions. The kind of rain we almost never see with any kind of consistency. The situation is grim, and conservation efforts, though encouraged, will help little now to stymie the constant drain on our water supplies. We're verging on a state of emergency, with little rain in the forecast down the line. And the government isn't exactly prepared for this sort of conflict.

In this day and age, there's little excuse for that. Not being well versed in ways to handle this sort of crisis, I wouldn't know where to suggest to begin, beyond at least opening up a constructive discussion on policy. But in this time when everything involving climate change, its ensuing crises, and problems posed to humanity by nature is politicized - the left trying to help, and the right putting a stop to that, with a ridiculous amount of power despite Democratic majorities in Congress - there's no real hope of that. The right calls for smaller government, and yet in these Bush years, they've supported its growth with their increased power that came with it, and began assaults on our civil rights and liberties we've appreciated for so long. They've demonstrated themselves what it is when big government goes wrong, while at the same time decrying big government otherwise. After all, what's the point of power if you're going to use it to help your country's citizens? Such as providing all-inclusive much-needed healthcare legislation for children? But no, health being a right as opposed to a privilege for the wealthy is a socialist value, and therefore evil and representative of what big government should never be. Instead, it's all about rolling back freedoms - all while talking about defending it - and killing a whole lot of people.

What a time we live in.

I just hope we see some real rain yet. It's the only shot we've got. And like most people, I'd really rather not stop practicing good hygiene on a daily basis. And drinking water - that's always been pretty cool, too. I'd rather not stop that either, so I don't, say, die. Nobody really wants to do that - save for those who do - and certainly not in a difficult state of emergency. And considering how the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was handled, there's no reason to put any faith in the government - let alone this administration - to help anybody through such trying times. If the market isn't taking care of you (In other words, if you aren't wealthy and don't have other methods to avoid such trouble yourself.), you don't matter. Don'tcha just love the anti-socialist rhetoric of the rabid capitalism-obsessed right? It would seem that once you have money and power, the first thing you forget is people. But then, we are the "Look Out For Number One!" nation. Or so the conservatives strangling our government would like to justify.


Elise said...

It sad because most of the world see th USA as a selfish "Look out for number one" nation. Views on climate change seems to prove it, along with war and other things. I'm sure alot of Americans are not as stupid as the world thinks they are. But to be fair, there is a right idiot running that country!

Anonymous said...

Way too pompous for me