Thursday, August 12, 2010

Global Warming, Hunger, and The Revolution

The flowers in my forest are wilting in the heat. Today it felt like 40 degrees in the shade. It's the hottest summer I can remember.

I don't know if it has anything to do with global warming. But now I think I know what it's going to feel like.

Flooding in Pakistan. Landslides in China. Forest fires in Russia and British Columbia. Too much rain in Saskatchewan. And now the horror of hunger.

Two problems are going to converge and merge in the next 10 or 15 years with dramatic results. One is the fact that global grain production, which kept up with population growth from the 1950s to the 1990s, is no longer doing so.

The second problem is, of course, global warming. The rule of thumb is that with every one degree C rise (1.8 degrees F) in average global temperature, we lose 10 per cent of global food production. In some places, the crops will be damaged by drought; in others by much hotter temperatures. Or, as in Russia’s case today, by both.

I see that Stephen Hawking is suggesting that humans start looking for another planet.

But that won't save us. Because if we can't solve our problems on this planet, we'll only repeat them on another one.

We need to change the way we live. The way we organize society. The way we decide our priorities. Capitalism as we know it has reached the end of the line. We need to come up with something better.

Some of us tried to get that message out peacefully at the G20 summit. And you know what happened.

But they can't hold us back forever. The younger generations won't stand for old solutions to new problems.

The greasy oil pimps, the corrupt politicians, those who profit from the misery of others, the greedy grubbers who are torching the world, should understand one thing.

Or we save this planet and make it a better place for everyone.

Or they'll get a REVOLUTION... 


Scott in Montreal said...

yup. Good post Simon. Have you checked out Juan Cole lately? He has been all over the Pakistan flooding tragedy. MSM has been giving it short shrift, but it is a huge humanitarian catastrophe. The crops are all gone. I have been reading Gwynne Dyer's Climate Wars and as usual, he is eerily on the mark and ahead of his time. But time is catching up on him. And us. Real fast.

Meanwhile we can't even expect the HarperCons to respect the need for basic good info on the population.

Love that vid by Broken Social Scene. Thx for cluing me in.

Simon said...

hi Scott...thanks I'm glad you liked it. I haven't read Cole but the Pakistan flooding is a monumental catastrophe which could have a really ugly political fallout. I thought this hot summer and all these global events would wake people up. There's no political will so the pressure has to come from the bottom. The depressing part is that we're such a comfortable society, and we love our cars so much, not enough people are doing enough about it.
I'm glad you love that Broken Social Scene video. Isn't it awesome? The first time I saw it when it was over I just sat there staring at the blank screen with my mouth wide open...thinking OMG is that TOO much? And why can't I do something like that? :)