Letter: The real threat
Elizabeth West wrote an article on counterpunch.org March 8 titled “Don’t get distracted: The Specter of Extinction Must Trump the Sideshow.” It is brutally frank, and I urge you to read it. I hold many of the same thoughts, some expressed here.
It is certainly easy to understand that we have become riveted by the ceaseless unfolding of outrages that our crude and egomaniacal president unloads upon us on a daily basis. I cannot look away myself. The hope that Congress or an independent prosecutor will investigate collusion, conflicts of interest and possible treason has, so far, been met with vacuous political posturing. These threats fix our attention and fear about immediate concerns, like health care and immigration. I, too, fear his actions will cause suffering within this country and all over the world.
However this is a sickening sideshow to the main event, that is rapidly unfolding before us and that is no less than the fact of our ever more certain extinction. Our forest and ocean carbon sinks are dying and full, overtaxed with CO2 from industrial civilization. As early as next year the planet’s air conditioner, the Arctic, will be ice-free in the summer. Heat will cause crops to wither. The storms, winds, fire, floods and heat will continue to be worse. Trump’s climate-denying EPA director and his appointment of the head of Exxon to the office of secretary of State are an unfortunate intersection for the sideshow and the main climate event.
“Each of us is responsible for considering how we contribute to or diminish the common good,” and hopefully with the current threats, to consider direct action or lifestyle changes that will allow us to survive.
It is time to drive less, fly less, and buy less. The threat is real and bearing down on us like a freight train. Trump has us stuck, unable to believe his lightning-fast changes in the wrong direction; but blasting through self-imposed inaction toward climate sanity, or personal sanity, is the only way to go. We have to do something now, the Trump sideshow notwithstanding.
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