Thursday, December 20, 2012

Of human bandage

From  ThinkProgress.
On the radio this morning: Brian Lehrer interviewing Judith Rodin, who is the president of the Rockefeller Foundation and co-chair of the NYS2100 commission to improve the resiliency of infrastructure, and they found themselves wondering, with reference to global warming, why it is that people find it so much easier to contemplate adapting to the crisis rather than mitigating it; building higher berms and levees, and so on, instead of just using less carbon. Both are equally expensive (and economy-stimulating), both equally require a lot of government. The biggest difference is that one will save millions of species from extinction and billions of humans from intense and permanent discomfort, and the other one won't.

I've mentioned before my paranoid idea that somebody positively wants it that way, namely the corporate interests that have been panting for a Northwest Passage for the past five centuries and mineral rights in the Arctic for at least five decades. Just as they didn't mind destroying the Brazilian and Indonesian forests for disposable chopsticks and particle board furniture, so they don't object to letting the whole planet go, in some future generation, for the sake of this generation's profits.

Anyway, the Bulletproof Backpack mentioned in ThinkProgress (link with picture above) is another case of putting a Band-Aid on a viral infection that clearly has little or nothing to do with oil companies. There's a psychological disposition, I'm afraid, to feel that we really can't change anything, that the best we can manage is to protect ourselves, and maybe a couple of other people. The Bulletproof Backpack doesn't even protect against assault weapons, just ordinary handguns, but it's apparently selling like Iowa deep-fried buttersticks.

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