Grim reality has a way of asserting itself, often in places it is
not expected. For example, I was reading an article last
night “The Brussels Wall” by William Drozdiak, in which Mr. Drozdiak
suggests a provocative idea: that organizational bridges be
built between NATO and the EU.
The argument he presents is interesting, but not half as interesting as
a sentence that jumps off the page: “...world shipping
routes will be transformed by new northern sea routes made possible by
the melting Polar ice cap....”
So, I mused in amazement, the question is really settled among those who know: climate change is here and all that's left is to deal with its consequences.
Most interesting for me in this essay is the way Drozdiak ignores the controversy swirling around climate issues in the U.S. Like the flat earth theory, this controversy is apparently irrelevant to a serious discussion. Implicit in Drozdiak's article is an expectation that for informed politicians and economists, climate change is not only real, but it is a thing of the present, not the future. Thus, strategists are figuring the impact of a warming planet as they negotiate economic and political alliances.
Drozdiak estimates, for example, that “at least 36 countries will be desperately short of crops or fresh water within the next ten years.” He goes on to state, “scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” are anticipating that approximately a quarter of a billion people on the continent of Africa will experience drought or starvation “because of low crop yields or a lack of fresh water.” In advocating for stronger cooperation between the EU and NATO, Drodzdiak is prescribing a way for the West to enhance its defensive capacity in the face of global challenges. These challenges include not only terrorism, but the cataclysmic consequences of climate change.
has been my observation that the potential victims of a policy are very
often its strongest defenders. I'm not talking about those calculating
dissemblers who deny climate change while they line their pockets; I'm
talking about those millions who believe the lies that are spread in
support of false science.
whole segments of the U.S. population that would be astonished to
learn Mr. Drozdiak and his peers do not question the dynamic of
climate change: these experts merely ponder the ways in which
change will affect the economics and politics of our planet. And, as
with all other issues in the universe, it is Mr. Drozdiak and his
influential, well-educated peers who'll be prepared for the inevitable
displacements that will occur in the not-to-distant future.
The rest of the planet's inhabitants -- those who are uninformed or who do not have the resources to gird themselves against disaster -- will be left living on flood plains, struggling in drought-stricken communities and, even more drastically, fighting for food to put on their tables. Because demand for food, the World Bank predicts, will increase globally by at least 50 percent over the next twenty years.
By that time, when the pollution proliferators and their friends have secured profits and the purveyors of ignorance have hunkered down behind patrolled gates, the truth will be evident to all. Then it will be too late -- to save the planet as we know it, and to save the vast majority of humanity from calamity.
Image by Billy Hathorn