15 Jan 09 Eddie's Blog Global

When the Unreal Wounds

We all can love the unreal when it is presented as art in any form.  Impressionism, cubism, in painting,  in novels we revel in “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”; in films like “Terminator” we are hugely entertained.  We happily step out of this world into an alternative one.  We suspend our connections to reality and we return refreshed and relaxed.

What we have had for the past few years is an experience of an unreality which has become part of our daily lives.  We have had house prices which cannot be afforded by the customer category for whom they were built.  We have had plans for an upward consumption in fossil fuels on the unreal assumptions that whatever our demand patterns, fossils will always be there in abundance.

We have had banks lend 100% mortgages with little thought given to what would happen to the banks and to their customers in the event of even a slight downturn in the economy.

We know that CO2 and methane (CH4) change the frequency of light.  We have seen CO2 used to heat greenhouses.  Yet we have seen one oil company executive after another and luminaries like Vaclav Klaus denying global warming.

We see manic logic applied in Ireland and Chile and the US as to what we should do about global warming.  In Ireland we hear “no matter what we do there will be no difference made.  We are tiny on a world scale, it is up to the US, China and India”. In Chile we hear, “You people in the North caused all  the problem.  We can burn all the coal we like, it’s up to you to solve the problem you created”.  In the US the outgoing administration said “China and India are the problem.  Even if we were to do anything about CO2 emissions their growth would counter whatever we do”.

The thing about reality is that its real, it exists, it follows well known laws.  It always asserts itself – the farther society deviates from reality the rougher, the more disruptive is the correction.

I make no apologies for grouping together the partial worldwide failure of the banking system and the failure of large sections of the global community to deal with global warming.

Both in their own way force us to live in a false reality.   When living in the false reality there is no problem.  It is like jumping out the window of the 5th storey.  There is no problem on the way down.

World unemployment will go up by 30 to 50m.  The temperature will rise during the lifetime of our youngest children by an average of 2 to 6oC.  This is an average.  At the Poles it will rise by 7 to 14oC, while not changing significantly around the equator.   Millions of species will become extinct never to re-emerge.

Giai will only be wounded, only what of the human species?