Saturday, 13 August 2016
Why Is Global Warming?
I was recently describing a science fiction book to a friend. "It is set in a dystopian world", I said (more or less). "Isn't every [science fiction] book set in a dystopian universe nowadays?", he replied (more or less). And he's right; with science fiction mirroring the society we live in, it should.
Take global warming as an example. We know it's coming and knew it for decades. We can already feel its effects. We know the cataclysmic effects it will have if things go on the way they are. Yet we are doing bugger all about it. And why is that?
First of all, half of us humans are too busy with basic survival to be able to afford too much concern for worldly matters such as global warming. It's hard to think what the world would be like in a few decades or a century or two when you don't have food on your table (and we don't know whether there is a table there in the first place). That's Maslow for you.
Problem is, if we set our focus on the First World, the picture does not get any better. Just have a look at how our allegedly informed public is going about its way.
In the USA we are facing the distinct possibility of a fascist coming into power through not much more than the power of his speech as he massively capitalises on people's ongoing frustrations [and fear of everything non white]. In the United Kingdom (what a euphemism!) we had the majority vote for Brexit on account of clearly false promises made to them mostly by a person who has, as a direct result of those lies, been promoted to the Foreign Ministry job. I will add that, to this outsider, the vote seems to clearly reflect the xenophobia of the older / physically remote / ignorant folk of the UK, who - admittedly - have been marginalised by their own government and chose to release their anger on the bloody foreigners.
Is Australia any better? No, it clearly isn't. Just a couple of weeks after Brexit we reelected a government that threw away tens of billions of dollars so as to not deliver us an NBN project, all the while reciting to the public that they are the financially responsible choice that would do our economy good. And we took them for their word while totally ignoring the 40 billion evidences that are staring us at the face every time a YouTube video is buffering or our Netflix is pixelating.
If we can't deal with that shit, how can anyone expect us to be able to deal with global warming?
We are on the brink of dystopia. Some of us already know this, so they go ahead to write science fiction books.
Image by Howard Lake, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) licence