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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/20/15

Have we reached the point of no return?

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After watching a video [1] interview the other day conducted by the "Real News Network" featuring investigative journalist Dahr Jamail of Truthout and Guy McPherson, Professor Emeritus of Conservation Biology at the University of Arizona, where their focus was on climate change or more specifically, "abrupt climate change" with this being the cause of what they say is the "6th great extinction" we're currently in-and the only one caused by humans-my thoughts haven't strayed far away from humanity's plight, possible extinction through abrupt climate change or that other potential calamity, nuclear war. And with the haunting irony it was all avoidable and certainly not inevitable.

Take war, it is not instinctive, a hereditary trait that resides in the DNA as something we're born with and can't be avoided.

Conducting war is learned behavior. Man has no threats from animal predators as he once did in prehistoric times and had him living in caves.

Even when he became "civilized" in the last ten thousand years and fought against rivals, he didn't have the capacity for his own annihilation until the dawn of the nuclear age in 1945. Through mostly luck a nuclear conflagration hasn't occurred since then. But when there's inane talk of winning a nuclear war, mans luck of avoiding such a calamity may be ending.

Consider the Pentagon working toward "Full Spectrum Dominance", superiority on land, air, seas and outer space, the demonization of Vladimir Putin and Russia over Ukraine, the Minsk II cease fire agreement in jeopardy of being broken by the post coup Porochenko regime in Kiev, NATO pushing eastward to Russia's borders and now the tenuous nuclear agreement reached with Iran possibly scuttled by a Congress beholden to the Israeli Lobby, a war with Iran, Russia and even China could result and turn nuclear.

As to the environmental calamity, we may have reached the point of no return as Jamail and McPherson conclude and them reiterating the well known melting of the Arctic ice cap, melting glaciers, increasing CO2 into the atmosphere and the oceans, permafrost melting in the Arctic tundra releasing methane, twenty times worse than carbon dioxide, the extreme droughts, killer heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes, ocean acidification, sea levels rising, all contributing to abrupt climate change.

Even if we kept all the remaining fossil fuels, oil, gas and coal in the ground we may have assured our eventual extinction by not acting when scientists became fully aware of the consequences of the climate crisis.

So what to do? Throw up our hands in surrender. Say the "Ah, hell with it". "Who cares".

To be sure there are times one feels like Sisyphus, condemned by the gods to eternally roll an enormous boulder up the hill knowing as he does beforehand when he reaches the summit it will roll back down to the bottom.

Funny though it is also in our nature to live and as long as we can breathe, even when the stakes seem grim we don't give in without trying to correct our mistakes. I can think of worse things to do.

[1] "Climate Change: Have We Reached the Point of No Return?", Video by the Real News Network, "Information Clearing House", August 17, 2015

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