Every-day complacency: our highway to oblivion

Tom Camfield
Posted 5/29/19

WE HAVE ENTERED A PRELUDE TO EXTINCTION. Some guy or other on TV is always bragging about having 7 or 8 kids, it seems; and Republicans, opposing women’s reproductive freedom, are forever …

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Every-day complacency: our highway to oblivion


WE HAVE ENTERED A PRELUDE TO EXTINCTION. Some guy or other on TV is always bragging about having 7 or 8 kids, it seems; and Republicans, opposing women’s reproductive freedom, are forever screaming about “the right to life.” Meanwhile, in the past 50 years the planet’s human population has doubled to about 8 billion, and 75% of the land on earth has been “significantly altered by humans,” the May 20 issue of “The New Yorker” magazine pointed out (quoting the annual report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, just released in Paris).

So I immediately wonder how much more will things be “altered by humans” by the time my new little great grandson reaches 50 and the earth is teeming with 16 billion people. Drought, deadly heat. fires, storms . . . seriously moving closer and closer to everyone’s home in their severity.
(And no, my own family is not wildly overbreeding in this over-populated world. My parents, themselves born well over a century ago, had only 3 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren, who have yet produced only 2.
My father would be 112 now, my mother 110.)

There will be no way left to deal with it all when worse comes to worst—and no place for billions and billions of people to hide.

On the order of a million species are now facing extinction, “many within decades.” The chairman of the IPBES summed things up: “What’s at stake here is a livable world.” There’s more: “66% of the ocean area is experiencing cumulative impacts, and over 85% of wetlands (area) has been lost. About half the world’s coral cover is gone.”

In just the past 10 years, at least 75,000,000 acres of primary or recovering forest has been destroyed. In 2018, carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector rose to a new high of 36,000,000,000 tons (with a ton being 2,000 pounds, we’re talking 72 TRILLION pounds here). Also in 2018, nearly 30,000,000 acres (an area the size of Pennsylvania) of tropical forest were lost.

Mother Nature is being gang-raped and it appears too many of us are continuing to look the other way, concerned with the minutiae of everyday life and figuring we’ll all be dead anyway by the time push comes to shove.

In intervening years, ocean life will continue to diminish through warming, pollution and over-harvesting; and it will become a poor source of food. What arable land remains will be faced with a diminished supply of irrigation water and crops also will fail from the extinction of pollenating bees and other insects (which already is a large problem, thanks to non-selective pesticides).

But why worry, what with things going so well at the moment in so many of our personal neighborhoods, where neatly-trimmed lawns pampered with herbicides please the eye and the sun is shining nicely. This “carpe diem” (seize the day) outlook that prevails is our ticket aboard the hand- basket to hell . . . if not for us (I’m 90 already), then for our children or children’s children.

Drought for the greater part of our state (including the entire Olympic Peninsula) was officially declared May 20 by the governor and the Department of Ecology. We’ll muddle through OK this year but the handwriting’s on the wall. And things at present could be worse; we could have caught some of the flooding and tornadoes that devastated Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Nebraska last week. This week the hardest hit included Ohio. As of May 28, there had been 538 tornado reports in 30 days, across the country. A national alert for more of the same had been issued.

Looking at this year’s accelerated early spring melt-off of snow packs with resultant flooding and looking ahead fearfully to still more summer wild fires, we should realize that the exception is becoming more and more the rule where “unseasonable” extreme weather is concerned. Climate change is definitely upon us.

Our state is leading the nation (along with California and Oregon) in reacting strongly to the dire burgeoning emergency. But what is needed desperately is a president and U.S. congress to take a strong defensive stance nationally—for our country to once again become a beacon of hope rather than an arrogant encumbrance to survival. But meanwhile, a page-one headline May 28 read: “Trump administration hardens its attack on climate science.”

Read story at: https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation-politics/trump-administration-hardens-its-attack-on-climate-science/

I was hoping to leave a much better world behind when I bid this mortal coil adieu.


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Tom Camfield

Soon after the foregoing blog was posted, more tornadoes ravaged Ohio and Indiana.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Fred Camfield

There is some hope. The world is moving towards solar energy. The latest is house windows that can power your house, and power your car if you plug it into your house. Big power companies are going to become obsolete. As to over crowding - modern evidence shows that Easter Island had a thriving population that was wiped out by European slave raiders, not by over population. If I was living in Asia, my back yard would be a rice paddy, not useless grass - it would probably produce enough rice to feed a family for a year.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Justin Hale

Homo Sapians have been whiping out species since day one, nothing new there, it would be poetic justice that we wipe out ourselves.

"what is needed desperately is a president and U.S. congress to take a strong defensive stance nationally"

Right, just what this country needs is a hypocrite like Inslee who claims to be the Green Candidate while he flies all over the country polluting the air. And anyone who thinks that the answer is the Green New Deal, I suggest they read and understand exactly what the deal is. Here are a couple of plans in the GND.

"A Full Employment Program will create up to 20 million jobs, both directly and indirectly, by implementing a nationally-funded, locally-controlled, direct employment initiative replacing unemployment offices with local employment offices. The government will be the employer of last resort, offering jobs meeting community-identified needs in the public and non-profit sectors to take up any slack in private for-profit sector employment."

"Going to 100% clean energy by 2030 means reducing energy demand as much as possible. This will require energy conservation and efficiency; replacing non-essential individual means of transport with high-quality and modern mass transit; and eliminating the use of fossil-based fertilizers and pesticides."


Ready to give up your car? I'm not, and neither are most of US. Not to worry the GND will do it for you. Ready to stop flying off to wherever for non-essential purposes? Boats, RV's? Not to worry just vote for the GND candidate and all will be fixed.

Thursday, May 30, 2019
Tom Camfield

So you're anti-green, Justin? I suspect Deranged Donald has spent more time flying to and from golf courses than Inslee's even come close to in campaigning.

Donald is a big booster of burning oil and coal. Inslee' isn't. Inslee's pushing for cleaner alternatives; Donald is obstructing such at every turn. Even in Ireland, where he tried to prevent a wind-power installation that he considered unsightly from the much-needed exclusive golf course he was building.

As for Inslee flying by currently available means, there is no alternative (yet). Any one of us would have to do the same if running for president. But he is ever seeking alternatives for the future. Meanwhile, it's almost hilarious to picture Trump and Inslee side by side and someone calling Inslee the hypocrite.

Thursday, May 30, 2019
Justin Hale

Not anti-Green at all. Our property is acres of oxygen producing trees, and we intend to keep it that way, my wife drives a Prius, we use no herbicides or pesticides. I encourage alternative energy sources, wind, solar, tidal etc.

I'd have more respect for Inslee if he did live telecasts instead of polluting the air flying all over, and he could if he wanted to.

I do not support the Paris Accords nor the GND.

Friday, May 31, 2019
Tom Camfield

Inslee speaking over 'TV (even if he could get all channels to carry it for free) would hardly compete with Donald flying to Wisconsin, Texas, Pennsylvania or wherever and performing in front of crowds of his screaming and drooling supporters. The networks seem to treat that as "news." And it gets replayed over and over.

Friday, May 31, 2019