WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Life beyond the tipping point

The view from my front door the other day

I know I go on and on about what bad shape democracy is in these days, and under my generation’s watch for the most part. It’s pretty depressing. You’re all champs for reading that stuff. 

But the other day I read a piece about how sad it is to visit Lake Tahoe right now because of the fires. Smoke obscures all the glorious mountain scenery up there, and the gray sky renders the surface of the water battleship gray too. It’s like you’re recreating in John Oliver’s featureless void. The writer of the piece adds: “Algae blooms and aquatic weeds are already invading in water, and climate change threatens to turn that iconic blue into a murky shade of green.”

In other words, not only is democracy dying on the vine, climate change is still rampaging and altering the natural world before our very eyes. It’s not just wildfires. It’s sea level. It’s the bleaching of coral reefs. It’s land temperature (Death Valley hit 130℉ last month). Apparently Greenland had a major ice-melting event last week. According to the Tahoe piece, in the not too distant future snow will become rain and Tahoe, at 6,225 feet, will get as hot as San Jose is now. God knows how hot San Jose will get by then … 

Here are two disastrous phenomena happening right now, as we sit here each evening watching The White Lotus and Ted Lasso on our wide-screen TVs. We seem to have forgotten, thanks to the pandemic and the slow-moving coup, that the planet is screaming for help. And it’s not like there are a bunch of things we can each do to cut back on our carbon footprint that we’re not already doing. It’ll be up to industry to find new ways to manufacture things without killing this blue orb, and to create cleaner transportation, and to undo what’s already been done. If it’s not too late. 

I bring this up not just because I love Lake Tahoe and would hate to see it deteriorate in real time for the rest of my life. It’s just that we have to fight all these fights simultaneously. We can’t let our guard down on the western front while they’re bombarding us on the east. Because, just imagine: If democracy goes down, the climate’s going to burst into flames so fast our eyebrows will burn off within days. Because the coup-makers are nihilists and they seriously don’t give a flying fuck about the planet. 

All that said … The White Lotus is a damn good show. 

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This entry was posted on August 9, 2021 by in Et alia and tagged , , .
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