Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Unholy Trinities

At the beginning of America's journey, there was an unholy trinity -- Molasses to Rum to Slaves -- immortalized by the Sherman Edwards song written for the 1969 Broadway musical "1776".

for an Oil Free Congress

Today, in 2006, yet another unholy trinity has emerged -- Chinese Loans to Persian Gulf Oil to Global Warming.

It doesn't matter whether examining slavery or global warming -- in both cases the reality is Business Power always trumps People Power -- until there's a DISASTER.

Global Warming is real. It's the result of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, especially greenhouse gas emissions produced by fossil fuels (i.e., coal and oil).

Al Gore is speaking out everywhere on "Global Warming and the Environment" -- on television, in the movie "An Inconvenient Truth," in lectures, in newspager editorials, etc. He presents a pretty compelling argument on how CO2 is killing our planet. The process is starting with the oceans because massive quantities of CO2 are being absorbed which is causing acidity to increase, thereby destroying calcium carbonate (which is what shells and coral reefs are made of). Warming ocean waters are causing storm intensities to increase (e.g., Hurricanes Katrina and Rita last fall). Do we have to wait for global warming to cause sea levels to dramatically rise before we start to take this threat seriously?

The Bush Administration has actually appointed the principal lobbyists and lawyers for the biggest polluters to be in charge of administering the laws that their clients are charged with violating. Vice President Cheney’s infamous "Energy Task Force" sought out lobbyists for polluters, asking them for help in designing a totally meaningless “voluntary” program.

As the late, charismatic astronomer and writer Carl Sagan said, referring to the picture of the Earth presented to the right:
"Look at that dot. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know. everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever WAS lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every 'superstar', every 'supreme leader', every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there -- on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds, our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light…

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand…

There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known."

-- Carl Sagan


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very neat article. I read that the probability of the big bang actually occuring was 1/10^120. That's like throwing a dart from one end of the universe and hitting a bullseye with one milimeter in dimeter on the other side of the universe. If the world was really created by mere probable chance, with the odds like that, I doubt there is any other life out there. But I'm a believer in God. Meaning that I believe that there is no other life forms and that I rather believe that there is a being greater than us, then to believe that we we're picked out of a deck of billions.

12:11 AM  

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