Curtain Raiser

A Question Begs to be Asked, Colltalers

Climate has delivered another sobering alert to mankind, with a new report on its impact on the world’s economic outlook. Regardless that we do anything about it, it reaches a chilling conclusion: some of its dire effects are inexorable and will last long.
It comes just as another U.N. environmental conference starts in a week, at that coal-loving country of Poland. Results may be less than promising but still strong enough to upstage the U.K. signing off from the E.U., and another probe set to reach Mars.
But the question that rarely makes it to the headlines, to be asked the top 0.001% of the population is: why most of you are not fully engaged on the quest for our survival on this planet? On the contrary, by not being part of the solution, even a reduced number of the wealthy and most powerful individuals and organizations, is in fact, aggravating the problem of climate change.
Such slimiest of percentage, made of top political leaders, the U.S. president, multinational corporations, billionaires, and global institutions, owns over 90% of the world’s resources and power. The remainder 99% seems helpless to hold them accountable.
There may be some eluding reason as to why the follow up to the Paris Agreement on climate change is being held in Poland for the second time in five years. But other than by chance, that nation along many others in Europe has been a hot bed for the right wing resurgence spreading out everywhere, and a likely result of a global ‘franchising’ of the Trump’s ‘wreaking havoc’ doctrine.
Not that he has a discernible one. But his racist and divisive rhetoric did unlock the gates of hell, unleashing hordes of previously curbed fascists, who became an unfortunate feature today in any urban center. Their scary rallies and propensity to brutality to prove a supremacist point hasn’t changed since the Nazis ruling days; it’s happening even in once liberal Latin American nations.
It’s growing in Brazil, which has elected a defender of torture (and admirer of Trump), to high office, and it now became part of the Mexican reality too: an anti-immigrant protest in Tijuana may be among the first ever staged south of the border. On Friday, Trump had tweeted about an agreement with Mexico, to keep asylum seekers there, but it may be just another one of his lies too.
While the media may distract itself rebroadcasting a few times that claim, before declaring it false, the administration

will be enforcing another of its new rules on immigration: summarily deporting them and their families, if their visa petition is denied.
Although a similar proposal was recently defeated in court, and there’s no logic invoking national security to justify refusing and locking up asylum petitioners, nothing indicates that the nightmarish U.S. immigration policies will be reassessed any time soon.
Speaking of the judiciary, it’s been a welcoming deterrent to Trump’s most outrageous and xenophobic proposals, designed to inflame his support base. And last week, when he insulted a judge who ruled against a decree of his, it was the Supreme Court Chief Justice himself, John Roberts, who offered a rebuff. That should be a given, but we’re holding a measured sense of hope.
The massive 1,600-page U.N. Climate Economy report is yet another confirmation that, 1.) we’re behind the curve when it comes to avoiding climate change; and 2.) even if we unlikely start an immediate, global response to it, we’re already late. The impact is all but inexorable and will last long, affecting national infrastructures, water supplies, natural resources, and human health.
Despite the president’s Thanksgiving tweet the day before, mostly thanking himself, and cynically asking, ‘wherever happened to global warming,’ the report is a sad reminder of how little we’ve accomplished since Paris, and how much we stand to lose if things, such as worldwide temperatures and heavy metal pollutants discharges to the atmosphere, proceed at the current pace.
Not even last week’s devastating California fires, which scientists had warned us, will be our new, year round, climate routine, or the fact that 18 of the previous 19 years were progressively the hottest on record, seem to get through to the president, still ignorantly confusing weather and climate. Evidence may not be enough to convince those whose job depends on not seeing it.
To some who believe the U.S. will present in Poland an arresting proposal addressing climate change, we’ve got an iceberg the size of Manhattan we’re willing to sell, cheaply. In a week that may see the consolidation of U.K.’s arguable move to split up from the E.U., on Friday, there’s also the gathering of the G20 group in Argentina, the first time it’ll be held in South America.
The world’s 17 richest nations, plus the E.U., will likely play second-fiddlers to the over-heated trade disputes of China and the U.S. But, after provoking global turmoil over tariffs without really understanding the issues involved, if anyone thinks that the president will sign a favorable deal, say, over copyright laws, we do need to show you some pictures of gigantic blocs of ice.
The question, though, as to why such powerful people remain unmoved by climate change devastation, requires a Herculean effort to come up with an answer. It’s almost necessary to revisit our own childhood’s innocence and spirit of wonder, to ask, with a straight face and clear-eyed conviction: why aren’t you guys concerned about this? Don’t you want your loved ones to live?
For it’s almost as if some of them really believe that there’s a spaceship to board, out of this burning earth, and if it hasn’t room for the rest of us, so be it. News flash, self-entitled fools: there isn’t neither a craft ready to do that, nor a planet fit to host you.
There is, though, InSight, a NASA probe scheduled to land in Mars today. But there are crucial caveats about this and, at least, the next ten other missions: they’re unmanned; InSight is actually a suitcase-size craft; Mars has no air to breathe. That is, all the money in the world won’t save anyone from extreme climate. Period. But perhaps there’s an one-way ticket for you-know-who
In the end, the easiest answer would be ‘pure greed,’ and a twisted sense that’s even possible to spend a million dollars a day for the rest of their golden years. It’s the same mix of delusion and con-artistry that once drove someone to sell the Brooklyn Bridge.
Journalists and interviewers of all stripes, though, should never give up on asking powers that be, until one of them answers it.
A final note to mark the passing of two movie making mavericks, the director Nickolas Roeg, and the magician/actor Ricky Jay. Masters of the art of make believe, their works enhanced and made our own experience on this lonely island of life all the more worthwhile. May they rest in peace, while we think about Yemen, and how can we all make this a better world. Cheers. WC

MORE CURTAIN RAISERS

2 thoughts on “Curtain Raiser

  1. Colltales says:

    So true, Micheline. Cheers

    Like

  2. We’re not in the best of all possible worlds.

    Liked by 1 person

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