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Alien Anthropology

Climate Change: “Is this really how it all ends ?”


Every night now – for weeks – as afternoon gently slides into evening, a vast tide of murky opacity descends on my city.  Not perhaps uncommon for winter in those parts of the world that feature just the right kind of terrain and climate to expect a great wave of mist as darkness falls.  But this is not winter and the clouds are of choking, suffocating smoke – not mist.

The East coast of Australia has been experiencing weeks of unprecedented fire emergencies that have occurred much earlier in the fire season, that are much more widespread than is usual, and that are persistent in localised effects for longer duration than I have certainly experienced before.  We have a Government that is offering all the well-written platitudes, thoughts, financial assistance packages and prayers that you would expect them to – which is all poignantly superficial if this really is the rapidly accelerating beginnings of the Climate Emergency it seems to be.

Not generally being a person prone to overt melodrama or histrionics, I still found myself walking home through the smoke (when the photograph above was taken) tonight, with a nagging little voice whispering in my ear: “is this really how it all ends?” – not with a bang, or a whimper, but with a choking cloud of acrid smoke.  Will accelerating catastrophes accumulate such rapidity and terrifying ferocity that the withering onslaught could indeed be civilisation-beggaring in scale?

Tonight I went to a public lecture on AI at a local university.  The lecture hall was misty with smoke.  When I left the lecture hall, the sun was a blood-red stain in an apricot-violet sky and city building alarms were being triggered by the smoke.  Is this going to be the new normal, I find myself wondering and – more: is Global governance and the momumental inertia of a conventional and (now) normative or expected political ineptitude about to be utterly disassembled by an integrated environmental catastrophe beyond the wildest nightmares of partisan ideologies and the once-safe cultural coccoons and narrative security-blanketd of so many unbelieving and wilfully ignorant fools?  I seriously think to myself, alone in the dark and with a strong smell of burnt wood infusing my every breath, a persistent irritation of smoke lightly stinging my eyes: “is this really the way it all ended?”

2 replies on “Climate Change: “Is this really how it all ends ?””

Signs are everywhere , but it will not be the end just a temporary return to the dark ages , like all animals we were built to survive. Civilisation, as the rich western democracies know it , is a short lived rare bird easily crushed.
‘On the Beach ‘ was a great read and is still possible , if serious instability sets in.
There are those who believe we are in control and many scientists lean in that direction , I’m not so sure , fate has its role to play.
‘Alike for those who for today prepare,
And those who after some tomorrow stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
Fools Your Reward is neither Here nor There.’

Liked by 2 people

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