Is This the End? –

Why can’t we see around the corner? How can society take action on climate change–let alone generate an overall consensus?

Aren’t scores of reports commissioned and agencies empowered to plan (predict?) what is ahead? James Atlas offers a bit of pondering on the uses of Turkish ruins, the implications of a hurricane, and the fate of an “improbable” city.

There had been warnings. In 2009, the New York City Panel on Climate Change issued a prophetic report. “In the coming decades, our coastal city will most likely face more rapidly rising sea levels and warmer temperatures, as well as potentially more droughts and floods, which will all have impacts on New York City’s critical infrastructure,” said William Solecki, a geographer at Hunter College and a member of the panel. But what good are warnings? Intelligence agents received advance word that terrorists were hoping to hijack commercial jets. Who listened? Not George W. Bush. If we can’t imagine our own deaths, as Freud insisted, how can we be expected to imagine the death of a city?

History is a series of random events organized in a seemingly sensible order. We experience it as chronology, with ourselves as the end point — not the end point, but as the culmination of events that leads to the very moment in which we happen to live. “Historical events might be unique, and given pattern by an end,” the critic Frank Kermode proposed in “The Sense of an Ending,” his classic work on literary narrative, “yet there are perpetuities which defy both the uniqueness and the end.” What he’s saying I think is that there is no pattern. Flux is all.

via Is This the End? –


3 thoughts on “Is This the End? –”

  1. This may appear to be shocking, but I have seen this coming for many years. It took Super Storm Sandy to wake up a few politicians and some people up to this most likely eventuality. As the politicians who carry the water for Big Energy via their lobbyists have called global climate change a hoax. In one speech before the election, Gov. Romney said, ‘While Obama is worried about the oceans rising, I am concerned about jobs.’ If “this is [the beginning of] the end,” we won’t have to worry about the economy…The audience laughed. Or, be concerned about anything else for that matter. Furthermore it may be far too late to ameliorate the situation.

  2. Although I am not a big supporter of being “green,” I am bothered that dealing with climate change is considered the opposite of aiding the economy. Climate change affects the economy and although green methods are often costly, their benefits often outweigh their initial cost.

    In many areas across the globe, climate change has destroyed economies. I do not see consensus in the future. When every nation can come to a single conclusion, effective action can be taken. Until then, the discussion will not reach an end.

    Climate change is effecting our local area. The follow article assesses the economic impact of climate change on Park City.

  3. This article made me re-think about the investment on renewable clean energy sources introduced by President Obama. Profit-maximizing firms are built inside and out to pursue short-sighted return and profit from a investment that many renewable energy source such as solar pannel/wind mills are receiving minimal investment compared to other businesses. If the micro-economy is built this way, and if it will be hard to reverse the trend with just good intentions, perhaps it is up to the government to allocate national resources to such investments. Yet it is very unfortunate because marginal revenue from renewable energy business is very small that the overall trend seems to be irreversible, making all the worst for the climate change hazard that we are facing today. Following is another wake-up-call New York Times article about how climate change and its prospective hazards are solidified enough that public health communities are feeling it necessary to start seriously considering how to prepare for disasters like Sandy.

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