Friday, December 18, 2009

Climate Change Disconnect #3

The talks in Copenhagen are drawing to an uncomfortable close today.
The morning radio (Canada's wonderful CBC, in my case) was full of assessments and prognostications, few even remotely favorable.
I did hear what amounted to an addendum to Wed.'s post on the two Disconnects by way of an interview with Quebec journalist Cleo Paskal. Her new book, Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map, says it all. The coming disruptions will change the world as we know it.
Climate Change Disconnect #3: thinking that ecology is some sort of isolated subject, without a single tendril connecting it to any other human realm.
As long as we continue to think that nature is "out there" somewhere over the rainbow (and something tells me we won't be this stupid too much longer), then the repercussions to the way we do business, rear and teach our children, feed ourselves, fight disease, and just try to get along will be be enormous.
Ms. Paskal or someone else during this morning's discussion (hey, I hadn't had my tea yet) mentioned climate refugees. To take one recent and dramatic (but relatively small) example: Hurricane Katrina. The people displaced from that event alone experienced great hardship and caused social disruption that police and social services were ill-equipped to handle. It all cost $100 billion. One event. In one of the richest countries on Earth.
Nature (Hurricane) -> human displacement -> econo-politico-social chaos.
Connect the dots, world leaders. There's plenty outside the high palace walls that may eventually affect you!


  1. My dad is a retired wildlife biologist. However, he still has a disconnect in thinking human animals are, for some reason, outside the rules/law of nature. Currently, he and Mom live in San Antonio, Texas. Their city continues growing by leaps and bounds, and is having difficulty because of it, especially where water is concerned. (San Antonio is a the northern edge of desert region stretching several hundred miles, down into Mexico.)

    If even a trained biologist sees our species distinct and separate from "nature," then how much faith can we have in politicos being wiser?

    Technology as always saved our bacon, but at some point, it no longer will. Are we there already? We've incorrectly thought so before. Are we mistaken, yet one more time again, this time?

    *sigh* And so it goes.

  2. Seems you learned at dad's knee to love nature, but you needed to find your own way to a sense of ecological consciousness (so evident here and elsewhere).
    Wildlife biology is/was so much a case of "management," reflecting society's prevailing patriarchical values. Whether it is for wife, children, livestock, or wildlife, the guy in charge may feel "love" but expresses it through vigilance and control. Let's hope, with some of those values changing, the young'uns will have a softer approach.
    Although our tendency to simplify our surroundings - optimizing survival - is an ancient one, and not easily modified for today's world, I wish we could rely less on hard technology. Hand-cranked tools and so on used human or animal energy, not fossil fuels, and kept us fit! We have more time now, more spare calories, and less happiness.
    I could go on....
    Thanks for sharing.