Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Meanwhile On Planet Earth

Meanwhile on planet Earth, the global temperature set another record in June, as they have every month this year, and in the midst of a searing heat dome clamped over much of the United States this week, and huge wild fires rage in southern California, USA Today reported this:

For the first time on record, every square inch of all 50 states is forecast to see above-average temperatures for the next three months, according to a forecast map from the federal government's Climate Prediction Center.

Now that might not actually be unprecedented--the records go back only to 1995--but it indicates the direction of the climate present and future.

Meanwhile, other aspects of the global ecology that might provide some margin for error as the climate crisis intensifies are also weakening.  The diversity of lifeforms is a major marker, for it supports the ecosystems that support, for example, us.  Such diversity has been declining for centuries, due to humanity's rapacious and careless spread and bad practices.  Now scientists believe that diversity has fallen below a safe level, endangering the future, especially in the most populated and built up areas of the planet.

You would think that a combined climate and ecological crisis would merit a lot of political attention, like at least a theme night at the party conventions.  But we keep finding and manufacturing other things with more emotional presence and lesser threat to occupy us.

The climate crisis has been referenced at the DNC and will be again, and clearly any hope the planet has rests with the election of Hillary Clinton.  But this continuing disconnect between size of the danger and priority of attention only adds dimension to the poetic insight that humans, Americans especially, cannot handle too much reality.  

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