We Wish You a Merry Christmas

(guest post by dontshootme and Teratornis)

As a little bit of holiday cheer, here’s a comment from the Guardian’s Review of the Environmental Year. It’s my first Guest Post.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/21/drought-icemelt-superstorm-environment-review-2012

Teratornis is one of the most prolific commenters on Guardian Environment, with 262 pages of comments so far. He’s replying here to a comment by dontshootme

I particularly like the paragraph  about joining Facebook, accumulating some friends, then discovering to your horror that they’re all mass murderers.  

dontshootme 21 December 2012 12:20 PM

Funny how the world was obsessed with today being the apocalypse when the apocalypse started about 50 years ago and is is continuing. We are killing the world and the politicians fiddle while Rome burns. We will be the most hated generation. That is assuming that there are many more generations to follow us.

 

 Teratornis  22 December 2012 7:17 AM

“We will be the most hated generation. That is assuming that there are many more generations to follow us.”

 I’m not so sure we will be the most hated generation. Our future victims will have every reason to hate us, but it’s not clear that they will be any more aware of what we did to them than we are aware of what we are doing to them.

 By “we” I mean people generally. When you step outside the tiny bubble of ecologically aware people, it seems the vast majority of people are almost completely oblivious. They don’t know a greenhouse gas from a carbon footprint, aragonite from calcite, what the Eemian highstand was, or any of the rest of our inside baseball climate stuff.

 If you join Facebook and accumulate some friends, you’ll see them posting pictures from their latest climate-destroying holiday trip, without apology, without so much as a hint that their actions might have been in any sense wrong. And nobody questions them.

 If the average person today doesn’t understand what is wrecking the climate, why would the average person in 100 years be any more aware? From their point of view, if they haven’t known anything else, Florida under water might just be the way things are. As long as there are any fossil fuels left to burn, people will probably be idiotic and selfish enough to burn them. On what basis will they judge their ancestors for doing what they might still be doing even as the world spins into climate catastrophe?

 When you look at people today who are already the victims of climate change, how many of them are hating the people who burn fossil fuels? The victims of hurricane Sandy are not going around hating on people who drive SUVs – many of them drive SUVs themselves. Fossil fuel addiction is nearly ubiquitous among people who can pay the asking price, and almost everyone who is poor wants to get rich so they can consume more of the goods and services we burn fossil fuels to provide.

 I think the only people who could realistically hate us would be people who have overcome any need or desire to do what we are doing. That might be possible but it would probably require a breakthrough in the sciences of mind to cure people of unsustainable behaviors. If such a breakthrough occurs it might also make the cured people less inclined to hate the people who lived before the cure was available. They might then view our primitive urges toward unsustainable behaviors to have been a disease which, like polio and smallpox, had been eradicated by scientific progress.

And a  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from me too.

This entry was posted in Guardian CommentisFree. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to We Wish You a Merry Christmas

  1. Mooloo says:

    When I was younger the radical fringe included Marxists who banged on about “false consciousness” and how the working class was their own worst enemy – holding back the inevitable triumph of collectivism. Now, apparently, our false consciousness is environmental.

    I don’t think so. I don’t think anyone is unaware of what is going on economically and environmentally – they are just exercising their democratic rights to trade some environmental damage off against a decent lifestyle. And the extremists, of all shades, hate it when the plebs don’t have the same fanatic regard for whatever it is that they are extreme about.

    BTW we won’t come close to the most hated generation. For the vast bulk of the world that will always be the European colonialists.

  2. alexjc38 says:

    They’re a happy bunch over at the Graun, aren’t they? I’ve just been there to wish them a Merry Christmas, not that it’s going to help much, probably. By the way, Geoff, you’ve had 8 comments deleted on that thread; what on earth have you been saying to annoy them?

  3. Alex
    All is revealed in the following post.
    I’ve also been commenting at an editorial at the New Statesman by Brian Cox and Robin Ince.
    http://www.newstatesman.com/sci-tech/sci-tech/2012/12/brian-cox-and-robin-ince-politicians-must-not-elevate-mere-opinion-over-sc
    (warning: not for those of a nervous disposition).
    One of the fun things about a blog is the admin page, which gives me all sorts of information about you. How many you are, where you come from (Hi, my readers in Palestine and Saudi Arabia) and even the search terms used to find me, among which I found today: “funding for geoff chambers” and “mick hulme + police”.
    Is Big Oil trying to make me an offer? Or have Norfolk’s finest discovered something and want me to get in touch?

  4. hro001 says:

    geoffchambers says:December 23, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Or have Norfolk’s finest discovered something and want me to get in touch?

    Nah … My (as yet unpublished) hypothesis is that during the course of their “investigations”, Norfolk’s finest didn’t make a move unless they picked up the suggestion from one of the Guardian‘s greenest of ’em all commentators. Haven’t seen any evidence – or even a bit, byte or scintilla of indication in any of their “communications” – that they paid any attention whatsoever to the responses from the “commentariat”.

    But thanks for this piece of Christmas cheer, Geoff … and all the best for 2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s