Friday, March 14, 2014

Backing Up Civilization … by gimleteye

These days backing up data is a given. Disks, thumb drives, the cloud. Somewhere I still have 5.25 floppy disk and cassette drives.

You only crash data, once, to understand the necessity of a backup plan. So why do Americans have such a hard time reconciling that climate change is the kind of hard drive failure for which there is no backup?
I had just read two articles down this road. One was from Grist; an interview with public relations entrepreneur David Fenton. Fenton -- who is well known as founder of a DC based PR firm that embraces clients from the conservation community says, somewhat counter-intuitively, "Want everyone else to buy into environmentalism? never say "earth".

Wendell Berry clearly disagrees. In Yale360 Magazine interview, Berry answers that it is time to be more, not less, radical: Why Local Farms Matter

e360: As someone who’s followed your writing over the years, it seems to me that in some ways you’ve become more radical in your thinking, unlike a lot of people who as they get older tend to become more conservative. Do you think that’s true, and if so, why?

Berry: It’s true. One reason is that as I’ve grown older I’ve understood more clearly the difficulties that we’re in, the bad fix that we’re in and that we’re leaving to our children. And as I’ve grown older I’ve understood that when I put my comfort on the line as a protester or whatever, I’m doing I was one of the farm-raised young people who loved both farming and the place.” what old people ought to do. I have less life to live than the young people. I think the old people ought to be the first ones in line to risk arrest.

If you have time, read both articles. Do you agree with Fenton, that we need to walk on egg shells when talking about the risk to the climate -- for which we have no backup in the case of catastrophic failure -- or with Berry, that it is time to be more engaged and less careful about who we offend?


Anonymous said...

I try to live environmentally sensitive, but know I'm not getting close.
Many of my good friends think to be supper aware and compliant, and are not.
I believe the time to "reeducate" the populace was back in the 1960, because it will take at least two generations to change the economic model.
Today the die is cast, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

It's time to be more engaged and less careful about who we offend. Too much is at stake. Politicians turn a deaf ear to the quiet protesters.

Anonymous said...

It is easier than people think to create small urban farms. Miami-Dade County has 10,000+ vacant lots yet career "public sector employees" / career politicians like Carlos Gimenez and his tribe can only think about massive $1+ Bil concrete projects.

Geniusofdespair said...

That NOAA chart is downright scary.

Anonymous said...

We are ungrateful and do not realize how fragile our existence really is. A couple of weeks ago NASA announced that they had found 715 new planets. That brings the total to 1,700 known planets circling their suns. Of these, five including earth were in the habitable zone from their sun. The other solar systems are too far away for us to get to them. We destroy earth, that's it for us.

Science Teacher said...

More CO2 (carbon dioxide) is great news for trees and vegetation!

For the scientifically challenged, humans breathe out CO2 and plants absorb CO2. C02 is necessary for the cycle of life. Without CO2, all life would perish from the earth.

Anonymous said...

You are assuming your readers know how to interpret a data point on a chart. Too bad … eh.