Saturday, February 6, 2010

Looking Beyond the Mark

Looking beyond the mark is an unfortunate malady of our peculiar times, one that is dragging humanity down to disaster, as it preempts our resolve to confront the serious problems of the here-and-now. As a result of the counterfeit confidence we place in the mantra that we are "saving the planet" by reducing our "carbon footprints," we are becoming immune to the serious needs of people throughout the world right now, as we focus our intellectual and technological energies -- and our next-to-nonexistent finances -- on the great beyond, acting as if we had the power of God to remake the planet's climate in the image of our computer-generated scenarios of salvation.

A case in point is the 6 November 2009 Editorial in Science, where Rosina Bierbaum and Robert Zoellick write, with totally unwarranted confidence, that millions of people in densely populated coastal areas and island nations actually will -- not might or may or could -- "lose their homes as the sea level rises," similarly stating that poor people will "face crop failures, reduced agricultural productivity, and increased hunger, malnutrition, and disease," which forceful words convey the pair's absolute certainty of the impending occurrence of the consequences they describe. Likewise, they unequivocally declare that "extreme events such as droughts, floods, and forest fires will become more frequent, making it even harder for developing countries." Read more.

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