…Politely Trying Not To Scare The Public

Ever had the thought that:

  • You are not being adequately informed?
  • Someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes?
  • You are being lulled into a false sense of security?
  • You are being fed outright lies?

If you are like me, you would already know that this is what television, the news media, the entertainment industry, the advertising industry, gimmicky new technology like smart phones and all government policy is all about.  Keeping you uninformed, misinformed, disinterested or distracted from reality.  ‘They’ don’t want you to think too deeply.  That would not be good for you, or ‘Them’.  You would become difficult to control.

Also, if you were like me, you would already have largely abandoned, cast aside, all of these things.  Not completely, because each has its limited uses in the right context.  You would already have become an independent researcher, a seeker of truth, a lateral thinker. Someone who does not take anything at face value, but considers each new piece of information thoughtfully and deeply within the context of all existing knowledge before accepting it as something useful, truthful and beneficial to yourself and others.

This is a general principle for living as an independent being.  The alternative is something akin to zombiism, to be an indistinguishable entity among that mass of sleep-walking un-thinkers that have often been referred to by others as ‘the sheeple’.  Those that willingly follow the common pattern laid down for them by others, because ‘isn’t that what everyone does?’.

So, what brought me to raise this particular point at this particular time today?   Well, this is the first cooler day in a record breaking number of consecutive days of excessive heat across the island continent of Australia.  Time to pause and consider the implications of this recent event before it recommences tomorrow and possibly for weeks to come.  The latest in a growing lexicon of such occurrences of extreme weather, across the globe, that tells us something is happening.  Something that seeks to inform us that perhaps we need to reconsider existing behavioural pathways.

Am I alone in thinking this?  No, of course not.  There are many such knowledgeable people, and it was a couple of quotes from one such person that lead me to pen this post.

Dr Elizabeth G (Liz) Hanna, a researcher at ANU, in the last few days has been quoted in a couple of articles on the subject.

‘‘We are well past the time of niceties, of avoiding the dire nature of what is unfolding, and politely trying not to scare the public.”–Liz Hanna

This is a quote from todays article titled “Burning ‘Deep Purple’: Australia So Hot New Colour Added to Index” on the Common Dreams blog.  You should read the article for yourself but, to summarise, the article centres around the recent necessity for the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology to add further temperature gradients to the existing temperature index for its interactive weather forecasting chart to cater for the new record temperatures.  The Bureau also considered it expedient to issue a special bulletin (pdf) on the event.  The blog article also puts the heatwave in a global context by linking to an article on the subject yesterday in The Guardian.

“Those of us who spend our days trawling – and contributing to – the scientific literature on climate change are becoming increasingly gloomy about the future of human civilisation,’’ said Liz Hanna, convener of the human health division at the Australian National University’s Climate Change Adaptation Network.

This is a quote from an article in The Age on 9 Jan titled “Get used to record-breaking heat: bureau”.  So, people who know what is going on are getting a little worried about whether, not how, we are going to get through this period of change.  Puts everything into a little different perspective, don’t you think?

How about this for focussing that perspective a little further (my last quote of the day, I promise):

‘‘Clearly, the climate system is responding to the background warming trend. Everything that happens in the climate system now is taking place on a planet which is a degree hotter than it used to be.’’, David Jones, the Bureau of Meteorology’s manager of climate monitoring and prediction, said in The Age article.

Think about that for a while.  This is the sort of weather we can expect with growing frequency (alternated with other extreme events like flooding) at only the current one degree centigrade increase in ambient temperature.  What can we expect to experience when we very soon (like within the next decade) reach the 20C agreed by the world governments as the limit of ‘safe’ climate change that we must not allow to be exceeded but which we already know to be impossible to adhere to as a result of climate forcings already in the pipeline.  As a result of worldwide apathy and inaction, we further expect ambient temperature increases in the range of 40C to 60C before the end of this century, possibly around mid-century.  Is it any wonder that experts are getting worried?

In Conclusion:

I subscribe to the Dave Pollard blog ‘how to save the world’, a misnomer really since he admits that he has given up trying to do that, at least where ‘the world’ is defined as the current human global techno-industrial-military civilisation.  Here is his latest post called Several Short Sentences About Earth’s Distant Future.  I can see, more or less, a similar vision.  Of course one has to take into account that every intervening event/decision taken both globally/individually by every living person has some influence on future outcomes, so we can never accurately extrapolate what may eventualize.  We can however thoughfully apply what we currently know, based on previous experience, to project likely scenarios.  Dave’s vision appears to me to be a whole lot more likely to be a contender for realisation than many other possibilities.  I refuse to elaborate on this just now, so that I can get this post published while it is still fresh.

Apologies for the lack of visuals but there are lots of nice pics in the linked articles.

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