Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Due to inevitable failure of Durban Climate talks, it’s fitting we’ve found a new planet

 

Mainstream media can be so amusing sometimes and I’m not just referring to their relentless effort to make puns of their headlines. “Man Bites Dog!” No, I’m talking about real tragedies that the press cannot make head or tails of. For example, as some are aware there is a major conference in Durban, South Africa--Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011—where many countries are pretending that humanity can solve something as daunting as the Climate Change crisis.

As we all know, there can be no solution because the powerful nations and corporations of the world are only interested in appearing as if they care. They say they don’t like that some countries that didn’t cause the problem to not have to shell out as much as they do to solve the problem. They say it’s better to kick the can down the road to 2020 when everything will be great for them to start even thinking seriously about this problem. They will say, actually, anything to get out of doing anything substantial to solve this planetary crisis. Mostly, the rich and power (nations and corporations) tolerate these climate conferences and do as little as possible to adapt and mitigate Climate Change because it’s not in their short-term interests. (Though, in the long term, we all cook on our own planet.)

So, it must come as a great relief that just this week, while the Climate Change talks go on in Durban and all those protesters are demanding some real solutions that our media has suddenly seized on the discovery of a new planet --maybe a habitable planet for us to move to when we completely trash this one.

Found: Earth-Like Planet That Might Be Right For Life : NPR “Scientists have discovered a planet not too much bigger than Earth that's circling a distant star that's much like our own sun. What's more, this planet is in the "Goldilocks zone" around that star — a region that's not too hot and not too cold. That's the kind of place that could be home to liquid water and maybe even life. The planet, known as Kepler-22b, is the first near-Earth-sized planet to be found smack dab in the middle of the habitable zone of a twin to our Sun.”

Of course, it’s far away and will take a long time to get there. Some 600 light years away. And while that is a daunting distance indeed, it’s not more irrational to think we can hop aboard a bunch of space ships and all go to this new planet than it is to think we can avert the consequences of Climate Change on this planet by doing nothing. It’s all rock and roll to the climate change deniers.

And there would be a zillion other details to be worked out getting humanity on some kind of faster-than-light ark that would hold all that we hold dear to go to that planet (Kepler-22b) and let this place to hell (literally) in a hand basket. But people get energized when there’s new digs to be had. Think of our ancestors who would trash a place and then move on a trash another. It’s what we do. We are no longer limited by those slow sailing ships and covered wagons because we have some really zippy space ships. (Though, 600 light years is really, really far. It’s not just a walk around the block, as Douglas Adams used to say.)

Ah humanity. When faced with a true crisis, we don’t get up and going, we fantasize.

Still, for those who think we can a chance to tap the better angels of our nature and come to some quick and comprehensive solutions to Climate Change, you can go to some esteemed news sources for daily and critical reporting on the conference via these media: (But really, most of the world, who needs to be onboard with changing something so vast as the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, is watching those loony shows that purport to be news but are nothing approaching what news should be, or the world is watching sports and ads and ways to find a gift for everyone on their Christmas list—and then spending the rest of the year trying to pay for it all. So there won’t be many listening to the voice of reason and you might want to see about that new planet and how to get there).

Following Durban Climate Change Conference to its inevitable conclusion:

  • Democracy Now! “COP17 United Nations Climate Change Conference Coverage | Democracy Now! is on the ground in Durban South Africa to report on the COP17 climate talks. Follow us on Twitter for updates this weekend.”
  • Durban climate change conference 2011 | Environment | The Guardian
  • The Daily Climate “The Daily Climate works to increase public understanding of climate disruption, including its scope and scale, potential solutions and the political processes that impede or advance them. The Daily Climate does not espouse a political point of view on the news but instead reports the truth to the best of our ability. Editorial integrity is the foundation of our mission. Establishing the trust of our readers is a fundamental editorial objective; all of our reporting, editing and publishing adheres to the highest standards of journalism, including honesty, accuracy, balance and objectivity.”

BTW: That going to hell in a handbasket things I said a moment ago. It’s happening:

Hotter, drier, meaner: Trends point to a planet increasingly hostile to agriculture — The Daily Climate A host of data – from sediment cores to ongoing drought in East Africa to computer models – point to one conclusion: Our increasingly hotter, drier planet is going to be a tough place to farm. (December 6, 2011) The Daily Climate

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