Have been struggling a bit with climate “overwhelm” — the volume of bad news is drowning out my efforts to keep up and post, even my own thoughts. I sympathize with a JPL/NASA scientist and publicist named Laura Faye Tenenbaum: The energy it takes to make honest, interesting and informative content for NASA’s climate website,Continue reading “Poll: US sees no problem with climate change”
Because the scientific news about climate change continues to cast a gloomy shadow over our future, and perhaps because the press is bored with the usual happy Earth Day talk, two prominent magazines featured this week scathing denunciations of climate activism.
In Pacific Standard, James McWilliams of Texas State University calls for a Kafka-esque "narrative of complete and utter ruin," as opposed to the false hope offered by the likes of activist Bill McKibben:
…the problem with climate change discourse isn’t the skeptic. It’s the true believer—and the fact that, for him, the slow burn of global warming obviates radical action despite knowing that nothing else will do. This paradox leaves many of us who take climate change seriously more or less speechless—or merely talking about building codes—while the planet cooks due to our hyper-charged consumerism.
Meanwhile The New York Times Magazine features the journey in thought of Paul Kingsnorth, formerly a British environmental activist, now a man who has now simply had it with efforts to slow or halt climate change and environmental degradation. He thinks it's useless.
“Everything had gotten worse,” Kingsnorth said. “You look at every trend that environmentalists like me have been trying to stop for 50 years, and every single thing had gotten worse. And I thought: I can’t do this anymore. I can’t sit here saying: ‘Yes, comrades, we must act! We only need one more push, and we’ll save the world!’ I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it! So what do I do?”
Our local daily newspaper has an excellent story on a new class of unhappy Americans: the involutarily retired. Kim Lamb Gregory introduces the idea with a study, and then grounds it in Ventura County reality: "We are witnessing the birth of a new class — the involuntarily retired," said a report called "The Shattered American Dream."Continue reading “A new American class: the involuntarily retired”
How to live (and love) with despair in our hearts is a question our disaster-prone century must face. And with the possible exceptions of Shakespeare and Chekhov, no dramatist has shown us how to face emotional disaster with the verve of Tennessee Williams. That's the subtext of this lovely essay on Williams, who turns 100Continue reading “Tennessee Williams: How to live (and love) past despair”