Gold Plated Commodes and the Future of Humanity
A recent front-page Star Tribune article provided yet another alarming wake-up moment for anyone paying even cursory attention to the plight of our planet.
Showing aerial photographs of debris and other contaminants washing into the world’s largest fresh water body, the Star Tribune recognized the magnitude and significance of such environmental threats—even though it competed for top billing with a story about a Minnesota “Wild partner sued by SEC.”
I would imagine that most readers took a long look at the dynamic images and gave the actual article a brief glance, which is a shame. It made several serious environmental points of which we should all be aware.
This typical myopia surrounding climate change and environmental devastation allows the climate deniers to keep making their case. As long as Rush Limbaugh can find one glacier that isn’t receding, global warming is a hoax. As long as a Koch Brothers-backed group can associate the advocacy of man-made climate change with Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson and Fidel Castro, the “debate” will continue.
But, actual climate scientists, as mention in the Star Tribune piece, “say big rainfalls, particularly from intense thunderstorms, are a symptom of ongoing climate warming.”
With the approaching elections, more fossil fuel industry lackeys and laissez-faire free-marketeers will be queuing-up to do the oligarch’s bidding. Doing that bidding means ignoring signs of impending calamity and continuing the mad dash to oblivion in the form of mindless consumption and exploitation and degradation of our environment.
When the estimated 9 billion humans who will occupy the planet by 2050 are competing for air, water, food and shelter, will the gold-plated toilets of the oligarchs make their lot any more tolerable? When considering the immense wealth that has been created just from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution to the present, it is important to note that it has been an abject failure—in terms of providing the basics for survival—for at least 40% of global population.
And, there will be no “do over”—the non-renewable resources that have been instrumental in creating much of past wealth are gone forever. Thus, there is no reason to believe that the generation of such wealth will continue—even on a marginally reduced scale.
That means environmental groups, unions, religious organizations and others must coalesce into a unified front to counter the short-sighted rapacity of a relative few, and insist on the creation of an economic system that provides adequately for all and leaves Mother Earth intact for future generations.
Time is of the essence—who can say how many more environmental disasters our planet can withstand before it becomes permanently inhospitable to all living things.