The Talking Dog

December 6, 2009, And now for something completely different...

The Grey Lady gives us this handy-dandy superficial overview of the Copenhagen U.N. climate meeting. There are "disagreements" between "poor nations," "rich nations" and "newly industrializing nations" about the rather modest lifestyle changes needed (hint: drive smaller cars) in the first world to prevent an irreversible civilization-destroying climate change (hint: as ocean levels rise an almost certain 10 to 20 feet in the next 30-50 years, large parts of the world, such as most of New York City, for example, will be uninhabitably underwater). As is the custom of reporting these days, we are told things are "complicated."

I don't think they are, actually. I'm waiting for a definitive report on the economic impact of the increased intensity storms and coast-line "instability" that would effect not merely Bangladesh, but the United States... (I'm guessing several times current planetary GDP) let's just say it dwarfs any "adverse economic impact" to the short term profit reports of the 50 or 100 or so corporate interests that control the planet. And yet the poobahs who run the planet don't seem to believe that they or their children actually live on it, and they will likely see to it that the First World governments (plus China and India)... do little or nothing, until we're a wee-bit farther down that road of no-return.

In some sense, it is a necessary survival skill these days just not to pay attention. Because otherwise you'll be utterly paralyzed, after you notice (1) the total moral collapse that followed 9-11, that led our country not merely to engage in torture, but to insist on its correctness, necessity and even legality; (2) the fact that our entire financial system is based on the fraudulent perpetual repackaging of residential mortgages which in turn were fraudulently issued with no concern as to whether they would or could be repaid, and the only solution to this bad bet was simply to double down on it... the 2008 post-Lehman-Bros.-collapse will be repeated in the next year or two, absent regulatory reform, on which there is no movement; (3) health care is now an insane 18 plus per cent of American GDP, without any actual demonstration that the American people are "healthy" by any meaningful measure... its growth continues unabated, and "conservatives" have ganged up to ensure that the only meaningful cost control measures in any "reform" are stripped out of it, lest "the other side" have any kind of "political victory;" (4) the American economy as a whole is on life support, and absent a massive, albeit insanely inefficient Government "stimulus" might already be dead, and is far more perilously close to a 1930's style collapse than any would care to acknowledge; and the grand-daddy of 'em all, (5) all of this is related, and actually overshadowed, by our ridiculously inefficient use of oil and fossil fuels, on which we are dependent for not merely heat, transportation and industrial output, but our food (not to mention everything else), and which ill-use is leading inexorably to the environmental catastrophe hinted at above.

We could make minor lifestyle changes beginning now, or unbelievably major ones in the next 5 or 10 years... I'll leave it to you to guess which one it's going to be (hint: "we're fucked.") This has been... "And now for something completely different."