In the fall of 2014, I began spending all my available time working towards criminalizing the fossil fuel industry. This must be done so that the actual WORK can begin to reverse the damage done by burning carbon for the past 150 years. Ten months into this and I can honestly say I’ve seen a palpable and substantial shift in public perception and awareness about the climate crisis, which is literally, and in real time, occurring all around us. People tend to be lousy at “macro” views, but even we flawed humans can detect that something just isn’t right. This would be a good thing to begin to realize except that we are totally out of time.
When I read, on a daily basis, the absolute nonsense in the mainstream media about an official climate plan, pact, proposal, understanding, or non-binding agreement, I fully comprehend that it is our elected officials, utterly and completely useless as they are, who are kicking the can down the road. The problem is that the road ends in sight. I can literally “see it.” This is why I get so angry, why I feel that we need to stop the endless polite banter, debating this or that little bit of minutiae. We are on borrowed time, people.
Imagine for a moment that you are on a speeding bullet train, racing around a twisting mountain and only you and a handful of people can actually see that there is NO TRACK AHEAD. How would you feel? Frantic? Desperate? Angry? All of the above? You SHOULD feel “all of the above,” because we humans, in this blink of an evolutionary “eye” are standing at the precipice of
do or die die. No kidding. I’m not exaggerating in the slightest.
As an aside, I’ll tell you that I have endured (suffered through, to be honest) two days of the Heartland Institute’s prattling on and on about how climate change isn’t real. For the 10th year in a row, they’ve held their climate change denier meeting in Washington, D.C. and it was as horrible as ever. They say that climate change isn’t happening, it’s just a scam, blah blah blah. There were a few minutes that were, albeit fleetingly, a bit entertaining, but for the most part, those nitwits and crooks do not hold a candle to real climate scientists.
And much like astronomers can measure the mass of something by how much it perturbs something else, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has clearly hit a nerve with the fossil fuel industry. His calls for charges being brought against the fossil fuel industry and their allies under the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) have seriously rattled them. I love that. I had a case before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, requesting a criminal investigation against the fossil fuel industry. After half a year, they concluded that they could not take it to the next level. Sad face.
And I’ve been looking at the tobacco settlement ever since. Sheldon Whitehouse has taken it so much further. And the fossil fuel industry is clearly, discernibly and palpably scared by his way of thinking. But I digress. Back to what it’s going to take to save ourselves.
Any real scientist will tell you that we’re screwed. I know, because I’ve asked them. And if you think “de-Nile” is a river that only we non-scientists are riding along, you are wrong. That same little voice in your head that says, “Go ahead, look away, it’s too much to take in. What can you do anyway all by yourself?” is saying the same thing to them. In fact, it was probably saying that to them more than a decade ago. But here’s the thing: we CAN save ourselves. Or, at least, a large segment of “ourselves.” I can only hope that it doesn’t include the Koch brothers, Dick Cheney and a whole bunch of others that I’d gladly exclude from any of the saving, if I could.
And while no one will say what we should do, what possible, conceivable “plan” there might be, I have one. And it’s ugly. Really ugly. But the fact is that we have the “know-how.” We have the survival instinct. We have the technological capacity to not only completely mess up everything, but also to set ourselves on a path that may not guarantee extinction (which is, by the way, the rule for 99.99% of all species so far).
I happen to believe that the insane, happenstance, crazy luck that we’ve been fortunate enough to have had to get this far…to maybe (probably?) be the only “intelligent” creatures in this universe mandates that we not snuff ourselves out. As one of my favorite physicists, Max Tegmark has said, it would just be such a huge WASTE if no one was around to appreciate the beauty of the universe. But right now, in the blink of an evolutionary eye, we stand at the precipice of the end of our own line. We, the people, need to rise up and claw our way out of this mess.
Okay, what I’m going to outline is beyond unpleasant. I, for one, am not a vegetarian and I can’t even keep a weed alive, let alone a garden that I’d have to rely on for food, but the reality of our situation is that I promise you, with 100% certainty, that what is going to transpire as a result of inaction, or “business as usual,” will be so many orders of magnitude worse. And we will have no control whatsoever over how it goes down. With that, here is what I strongly believe is at the very least necessary to save our species and many of the other creatures, large and small, who we have not yet managed to wipe out. This is what it would take to begin the long process of changing the course this “supertanker” is on in order to restore our beautiful planet to its Goldilocks “condition.” And this plan is draconian, to be sure. And it seems unimaginably harsh, but that does not mean it is impossible. Just in our lifetime, for example, did anyone think that the Soviet bloc could fall? Nope. But that was brought about by social change and that IS possible. The laws of nature, whose proverbial back we have shoved against a wall, CANNOT be changed.
Before anything of substance can be done, we must FIRST topple and control the fossil fuel industry, severing its stranglehold on humanity. Once that happens, things will go down quickly. We need to flick the fossil fuel industry parasite off our collective shoulders, make them pay, in every conceivable way, for the damage they have knowingly done, and absolutely not allow them to engage in any way with the healing process which will ensue. From top to bottom, from minion to CEO to paid-off Senator, criminal prosecution must take place. And I’m not talking about a slap on the wrist like what happened after the banking meltdown. I’m talking JAIL TIME. Keep in mind that there are people who are serving life terms for minor drug crimes, languishing in that big, tax payer subsidized, prison system. Why let all THAT go to waste? Since tax dollars have built that apparatus of misery and despair, we need to put it to good use. And I’m not talking about for people who sold a bag of pot on a street corner. Nope. I’m talking about real and actual JUSTICE for those who have strategically wiped out thousands of species on Earth, with much more to come.
Again, this plan is draconian, but don’t kill the messenger. I didn’t make this mess by myself, and I’m telling you that there is a chance, but it’s fleeting, and THIS, or at the very least, this level of commitment to fix the mess we’re in, is what it’s going to take. I’d put $20 bucks down that no one else is telling it to anyone straighter than this. I could be wrong, but I’ve not read it anywhere. If this, or something very close to THIS, isn’t enacted, we are done for. Plain and simple.