I don’t care what anyone says about the New York Times, or the Washington Post, or the LA Times, or any other news-daily or periodical or what have you. Look, I’m no Stephen Hawking, but I can read and I am pretty good at critical thinking and I’m not afraid that if I read or see or hear something somewhere that approaches the limits of the pale of reason I’m going to buy it just because it’s in _(fill in the blank)_. After all, premised on the Godfather’s advice to keep my enemies closer, I do subscribe to the way far out far Right rag Human Events, and it hasn’t swayed me yet.
What I like about the above-cited sources (including HE) is that they don’t dumb something down into a single column so I might understand what three pages might be too tough for me, or so they’ll have more ad space. Yesterday, Sunday, May 11, LAT featured an article, Civilization’s last chance.
It’s unlikely you’ve read it. I strongly recommend that all Americans do. Essentially “Civilization” is a distilled summary of NASA’s chief climatologist James Hansen’s warning, “if we [as in you, me, and everyone we know and know of] wish to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed,” there are a number of pretty heavy steps that all earth’s habitants need to take right now, since yesterday, which would have been more advantageous to our chances of survival, is a few decades too late.
And by heavy duty steps, Hansen does not mean making our bottled water purchase decisions based on the gauge of the plastic bottle. No, no, no . . . According to Hansen, it’s gonna take a whole lot more than that, and I really don’t think we’ve got it in us to save ourselves.
The ‘it’ that we’ll need: By the time I was in my 20s, I began reading the Bible; seriously, and most important, critically. And, forgetting the idealistic notions in the New Testament, it occurred to me to ask rhetorically, “Who really believes this stream of utter silliness and rationalization on behalf of wholly and clearly erroneous stabs at beginnings answers, not to mention mass theft and genocide?” Then I played with a ‘what-if’ bet between two gods. One god bets another that if He/She/It (and do not get me started on the ridiculous proposal that God has a gender; think only what the sole purpose of gender is: sexual reproduction!) develops a being with a near godlike intelligence and foreknowledge of it’s own death that this being would ultimately end up the tool of its own demise. The other god says that if this being is given such intelligence, it will act wisely, to counter what are, in the final analyses, suicidal tendencies.
Yesterday, here in Palm Springs, a mere four days into the month of May, the temperature reached to near 100. You’re damned right: Put on the AC! I don’t care that the draw on electrical current will require the electric company to churn out more pollutants. (I don’t actually know that my turning on the air-conditioning will have that effect, but then, that’s so not the point. The point is: I do not care, I just want to feel comfortable.)
The undercurrent-truism running through all of this is that just because you may believe something is either so or not so, just because I may believe something is either so or not so, has zero relationship to whether that thing is in fact either so or not so. Perhaps the greatest example of this truism is the Roman Catholic Church’s Inquisition-led indictment and conviction of Galileo in the first half of the 17th century. Galileo expanded on the Copernican proposal that the earth orbits the sun. The Church had it on Divine Authority — and the pope, as everyone knows, is infallible — that it was the sun that encircled the earth.
Another fact that a lot of folks are going to have to, sooner or later, face goes 100% to personal responsibility: No one has ever breathed earth’s air with a greater knowledge of what is right for you than YOU! So why anyone would sit in a pew, caring what another human being claimed were behaviors and beliefs other human beings should adopt is beyond me. It’s your life. Take responsibility!
In the 50s, I remember with sadness how there were boards of human beings in this country deciding what adult human beings morally should not, and legally could not, read or see or hear. And even as a preteen I wondered, “Who imbued them with wisdom above others, and why would any adult with the least respect for him- or herself surrender to anyone else the right to freely form his or her own opinions?”
It’s just nuts; doesn’t have the first lick of sense on its face. But here we are.
Newsflash: We’re running out of resources, including clean air!
_Second Newsflash: Everyone on earth wants the same sort of life Americans and Europeans have!_
_Third Newsflash: They have just as much a human right to the same sort of life Americans and Europeans have!