Thursday, 16 July 2009
On this scorched earth.
Will our crops survive?
After months of blazing sun, Cornwall's default rain setting has returned. It looks set to stay, though we hear promises of a better August.
Is this climate change or just... well weather? There's absolutely no doubt the climate is changing, just as it always has. But who's to gain and what's their motivation?
The climate debate is fascinating, but I wonder if I enjoy it for all the wrong, mildly sadistic, reasons. I relish the things we don't hear more than the things we do. I enjoy it for the lies and the engendered fear created.
So how about some truths?
The standard lines bandied about talk about a radical change in lifestyle.
Personally, this doesn't seem a scary prospect at all. This country could do with a good leveller, a good dose of emergency. The wealth gap is now so vast that maybe this is the only way to restore some status quo to this sorry excuse for a democracy. We are ruled by the car and the supermarket. Is this the lifestyle we so earnestly want to protect?
Maybe we can look deeper. Are people, in reality, just scared of energy security - not climate change at all? When the oil, gas and coal is too expensive the establishment will have lost control. The state stranglehold on our lives will weaken. The rich will cry into their empty Bollinger bottle and the poor will be liberated - after all they're used to surviving on very little. The markets will collapse, we won't be able to afford mindless wars and leather chairs in glass offices will swing only with the weight of spider webs. It's quite an intoxicating thought and I can't bloody wait - I very definitly count myself in the poor camp in need of some liberation. Excuse me while I nip out and buy a horse (white) and a wooden cart to do up. I'll paint that one blue.
But what other hidden truths are there. "They" (do the speech marks look paranoid enough?) scare us into believing climate change will wipe out half the planet's species.
Of course it won't. But something might. Plants and animals and microbes and viruses have survived tortuous upheavals in climate throught the rich history of life, so I often wonder why this lame statement is dragged through the scientific gutter. There is only one thing wiping out wildlife ad hoc and ad infinitum and it's us. We destroy habitat every single day on a scale climate change can only dream of. We hunt our oceans to breaking point, but we call it fresh fish. We lay waste to forests, and we call it processed food. It's quite sickening we allow the climate alibi to offer ourselves salvation from our own moronicness.
Now think this through. Once the fossil fuels are too expensive and the so-called free markets fail, we won't be able to keep raiding the third world for cheap food, wood and labour. We'll have to grow our own, make our own, rely on our own. This is what used to be called freedom. We should not be scared of freedom.
So don't fear the climate press. Relish in it. It might be your only hope.