Anthems of progress and hope: “save the planet” . . . “save the earth”. Well meaning sentiments issuing from frightened people who see where it is going and want to make it right again . . . so that their children and grandchildren can enjoy and bask in the lush carpet of life that once covered the planet we call “ours”. Nice, poignant, redeeming . . . ridiculous.
A good opportunity for happy talk about how, now that we know what is happening, we can turn things around and fix it. If we were able to destabilize the core patterns of an entire planet, surely we are capable of finding that elusive re – set button and returning to happier times.
1- It isn’t “our” world.
2 – There is no re-set or resurrection button for “saving” an annihilated global ecosphere that took millions of years to evolve.
3 – When destabilized, any system in nature will seek a new balance. Here, we are dealing with a planet, a complex, living world that is part of an infinitely extended universe. The process is light years beyond our ability to control, predict or model.
4 – There is no “going back” to anything.
“No man ever steps in the same river twice.” (Heraclitus)
5 – Even if, by some miracle, the global community were to fully cooperate in retooling for sustainability, mitigation is, most likely, the only possibility left.
However, there is no sign of that cooperation. Instead, all of the primary toxic activity that has brought us to this crisis point has increased rather than decreased. Fossil fuel consumption, war, unbridled industrial pollution of the earth, atmosphere and oceans have not paused or skipped a beat.
6 – It would be difficult not to notice the stunning hypocrisy in the charade of “world leaders” pretending to solve the problem.
- Speakers at UN’s COP28 climate summit this year in the United Arab Emirates were told not to protest or “criticize corporations” in a warning that cited the Gulf state’s laws.
The host nation has appointed Sultan al-Jaber, (head of Abu Dhabi’s state-owned oil company Adnoc), to the presidency of COP28. Guess where his interests lie?
- An enormous portion of the Gulf of Mexico, spanning an area the size of Italy, was recently put up for auction for oil and gas drilling, in the latest blow to Joe Biden’s reputation on dealing with the climate crisis.
- Fox News: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently called on wealthy nations to move up its net-zero emissions goal from 2050 to 2040. A recent memo was sent to every Republican member of Congress urging lawmakers to dismiss the United Nations’ “alarmist report” on climate change.
- *According to an annual Banking on Climate Chaos report released April 12, 2023, the world’s 60 largest banks have spent $5.5 trillion on financing fossil fuel projects since 2016, when the Paris Agreement climate pact came into effect. Banks in six countries dominate global financial spending on the fossil fuel sector : United States, Canada, China, Japan, France and Great Britain. US banks provided 28 per cent of the total financing in 2022.
- Exception: The only world leader not leading a war or weapons based economy and who is not owned by industrial lobbyists, Pope Francis, reminds us : “Any technical solution which science claims to offer will be powerless to solve the serious problems of our world if humanity loses its compass, if we lose sight of the great motivations which make it possible for us to live in harmony, to make sacrifices and to treat others well.”
Life on planet earth is diminishing. The rate at which this is happening is not slowing down. It is increasing. This is not speculation. It is a fact. It is not debatable. It is real.
Studies, reports, simulations, models, special panels, etc. . . . “trim” . . . sincere and honest busywork meant for consumer consumption . . . but too limited in scope to encompass the enormity of rapid, dynamic, global, environmental free – fall.
The only possible way to slow down or mitigate the ongoing destabilization of the environment is by international cooperation in stopping the activities fueling the meltdown (we all know what these are) and sucking up the economic costs and hardships of massive retooling for sustainability. Difficult, but it’s the only choice.
People are extraordinary engineers and have the capability to achieve this. The key is not debate or talking or compiling reports. The key is simply doing it.
Save the Planet
“It’s a deal. All you people hear that ?”
by Charles Bukowski
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Joseph Carlisi – Biography
Born and raised in New York City, he earned BA and MA degrees in Philosophy at Hunter College of the City University of New York and then continued his graduate studies in Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology working under the mentorship of Marvin Minsky. Joseph worked as a part time content and copy editor for Harvard University Press (science and medicine) while attending M.I.T.
After ten years as a university lecturer, researcher and administrator, he started and managed an advertising / public relations firm in San Diego, CA that handled a wide range of commercial accounts. On the academic side, he published a series of seven articles on animal behavior for Harvard Magazine and two books: “A Guide to Personal Power” and most recently “Playing God on the Eve of Extinction”.
Joseph Carlisi creates oil on canvas paintings that can be described as vivid, surreal and unexpected. His paintings have been exhibited and sold in: Honolulu, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, Miami, Tokyo, Yokohama, Amsterdam, Berlin and Salvador Brazil.
Joe’s art is available for purchase.
Contact him at email@example.com.