Monday, October 15, 2018

Global Warming: Barbarians At The Gate

Imagine living in Russia at the time in history when the unstoppable Mongol horde was approaching:

“Oleg sat in the center of the keep. There was a lull in the onslaught of the Mongol assault. He knew the end was near for them, and his mind wandered back to when they’d first heard of the approaching storm from the east. Most had doubted that such horrendous portends could be true; but, a few who personally knew the harbingers of the bad news and knew them to be of good repute and had fled westward with them. 

Oleg himself had instantly believed the ill tidings. Ominous dreams had been plaguing him for months. Indeed, their verification was almost a relief, for he had begun doubting his sanity. And though he instantly organized the rapid departure of his grown children and their offspring, as an old man he had chosen to stay in order to help waylay the advancing menace. And now, all that remained for him and his comrades was the ‘moment of truth’.”

Now, as I sit in the center of my living room, I feel a bit like Oleg did when he knew it would end badly. I’ve studied Earth Science, and I understand how and why global warming is unstoppable, given the human equation as it is. I had my early warning in the late 70s (others were given the same information as me, and most chose to ignore it). As a result, I am as prepared as much as one can reasonably be. Though that’s mainly by having no grandchildren, it’s also by being debt free, moving to an area with assured clean water supplies, live in an extremely well insulated house on high ground (limestone hill), and reside in an area with similarly minded people.

Note: Like Oleg, many other of our brethren throughout history have witnessed unstoppable destructive forces overwhelming their civilizations. Usually there was little or nothing that they could have done to prevent the tragedies they faced — be it barbarians at the gates, disease infested conquistadors, plague carrying rats and their fleas, extended droughts, etcetera. 

In our world, however, one such “Oleg” is the equatorial farmer whose livelihood and family will be ghosted within his expected lifetime. And the onslaught is from global warming brought on by all of us who consume the benefits from fossil fuels. There is justice though: no one will be spared in our shared ‘moment of truth’. Not even the “barbarians” at the gates.

Mongol invasion of Rus’:

Coping with existential fears:
[Sometimes fears are not existential.]