Climate Needs Warriors, Colltalers
When Hitler invaded Poland, 80 years ago Sunday, the world couldn’t possibly take him for the mass-murderer that he became. But his supporters knew. Worst than history repeating itself is to see it’s about to happen again.
Meanwhile, the Amazon continues to burn but the news is already fading. Not that it ever matched the tragedy’s significance to the planet in the first place. But if carbon dioxide is bad, wait for what methane can do to our air.
Speaking of tragedy, August has signed off by claiming its 51th mass-shooting, near Odessa, Texas. The state’s second massacre in a month left eight people dead and over 20 injured. While many don’t expect this issue to be resolved before the next one – and there will be a next one – or ever, Americans must still refuse to normalize it.
History is also at play in Hong Kong’s currently woes, as in the fight between moving toward a real democracy, or acceding to the authoritarian Beijing rule. It’s not a fight to the faint of heart, as shown over the weekend. In some ways, China’s already gaining the upper hand, as it called out its armed troops and arrested protest leaders.
How the world is reacting to the movement for HK independence it’s equally appalling though. So far, no global democratic institution has explicitly lent support to it, and it’s fair to expect that the financial system has also some role undermining the opposition to China rule. It all indicates that once again, Xi Jinping will have his way.
The trial for the accused September 11 masterminds has just been set for 2021, which gives the measure of the George W. administration’s blunder handing the attacks outside a proper legal framework. Instead, it locked up ‘suspects’ without a trial, in Guantanamo, failed to capture Osama Bin Laden, and invaded and destroyed Iraq.
Its immoral lies to justify the invasion are still the biggest scheme ever to get the U.S. involved in a faraway war. That can change though. But the end result of that Pentagon’s wet dream of a war predictably going awry is the dead of thousands and a scorched land left for what was once a proud nation. And a likely endless ISIS’ revival.
Up to not long ago, the ‘virtues’ of the WWII were being chanted and praised: the end of the German Nazi and Italian fascist dictatorships,
the prosecution and prompted sentencing of war criminals, and most of all, the classification of hate and racial crimes as universally punishable by law. That new world lasted some 75 years.
As it turned out, it wasn’t quite that way, and the fact that we’re still dealing with the same issues of intolerance, authoritarianism, and white supremacy, shows that maybe we’ve been a bit too optimistic about human nature these past seven decades. For the war that revealed the ‘greatest generation’ to the world, also helped ruin it.
Then as now, there was a charismatic commander, adored by a horde of obsessed followers, to whom the world regarded warily but spared from close scrutiny. Someone who in the span of just seven years built an army eager to take over the world. And a leader who sheltered and encouraged other despots, like he did with Mussolini.
Above all, then as now, the world was slow to wake up to the threat that such leader represented, and not willing to going out of the way to curb his advances. That helped Hitler succeeded, and Poland was just the first step. Now though, if history does repeat itself, we may not be able to beat his heirs or a way to come back from it.
There’s never been a U.S. president who has lied so much as Donald Trump, and that’s based on bountiful public evidence. But history may see another character flaw of his as stronger: his cunning ability for self preservation.
See, the president invoked the threat of Hurricane Dorian making landfall in Florida as an excuse to skip the sober WWII date, held in Poland and with the presence of almost all world leaders involved in the conflict. But then the storm changed its path; Trump, however, still went golfing as he had probably planned to do all along.
But in that, he avoided two sticky situations that could potentially mean trouble for him – not that that usually matters: facing world leaders who could question his policies, and having a Katrina to which his administration’s so unprepared. After all, it was just reported that Trump is taking money from FEMA to fund his border wall.
This would’ve been worst than Bush praising an ex-rodeo manager, who he’d nominated to lead the agency, for doing a ‘helluva of a job,’ just as one the worst natural disasters on record tragically unfolded. But it wasn’t to be.
Those who expected Mar-a-Lago to be under water by now, or Trump’s popularity to take a hit in a cornerstone electoral state such as Florida, will have to silently swallow their despair once again: he’s all thumbs up on TV.
What did happen though, and it’s equally staggering and possibly irrevocable, is the fact that, in the very same week the world’s biggest rainforest was put on fire, and fires were also raging in Alaska, of all places, the EPA has rolled back some 80 regulations to protect the environment and prepare for the fight against climate change. Considering that just a few years ago, the regulatory framework was already barely enough to curb fracking and other predatory fossil-fuel exploration, this is so utterly perverse that even some oil and gas companies oppose it. Digging in the Arctic, where the melting permafrost is already freeing ancient methane would be devastating.
That’s why it’s inconceivable that the Democratic Party is not yet on board with the youth movement leading the charge against climate change. But there’s still time to put your representatives on notice. And that’s also why the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who’s arrived in New York last week, has been so relevant right now.
After sailing the high seas aboard a racing boat, she was welcomed by thousands of young fighters, angry that the future is being chipped away by their elders. Thunberg, one of millions of climate activists but arguably the first to achieve worldwide recognition, will be speaking at the U.N. Climate Action Summit, later on this month.
If kids are owning their part in the survival of our civilization, then what’s the excuse for whoever’s been around the block a few times? To some extent, even those no longer in the game for belief or conviction could exercise good parenting and inspire those who came after to have a tomorrow. And we should get started today. Cheers WC