HomeBlogsOut Of Left Field Martin’s blog: “Danger, Will Robinson. Iceberg Ahead.”

Martin’s blog: “Danger, Will Robinson. Iceberg Ahead.”

Our spaceship Earth is hurtling forward on a dangerous course guided by its Titanic-like upper-class smugness and conceit toward dead ahead catastrophy. What can we do to change course? Or is it already too late?

Inconvenient Truth #1. Al Gore’s 2006 documentary about the climate change iceberg we’re about to smash into, gave us 10 years or less to turn things around. Where is that “10 years” in our consciousness? Where is it in our actions? Isn’t the strange weather Earth has been experiencing of late yelling at us, “Danger, Will Robinson, Iceberg Ahead”? What are we doing about it now?

Inconvenient Truth #2. On December 13, 2011, an article in The Independent (see Peter’s blog) reported that “Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by [a Russian research team] undertaking an extensive survey of the region.” It looks bad. Ominous. “. . . there are hundreds of millions of tonnes of methane gas locked away beneath the Arctic permafrost, which extends from the mainland into the seabed of the relatively shallow sea of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. One of the greatest fears is that with the disappearance of the Arctic sea-ice in summer, and rapidly rising temperatures across the entire region, which are already melting the Siberian permafrost, the trapped methane could be suddenly released into the atmosphere leading to rapid and severe climate change.” Rapid and severe climate change! What can we do now to avoid collision?

Inconvenient Truth #3. The COP-17, United Nations climate change negotiations held in Durban, South Africa, from Nov 28 to Dec 9, 2011 were a cop-out. Nations of the world gave “themselves until 2015 to agree [to] a new deal which only takes effect in 2020, governments are delaying desperately needed action and condemning us all to dangerous warming of much more than 2º C” (see Adow quote in a Business Day article). To take effect in 2020? We can’t wait that long. And for what would we be waiting? What can we do now to change course?

Inconvenient Truth #4. Corporations in the coal, petroleum and gas industries are pushing ahead with production of fossil fuels, the burning of which produces you-know-what. From massive efforts to local ones. The notorious Tar Sands in Canada and the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. Marcellus Shale hydrofracking. Retrofitting GenOn’s coal-burning power plant in Portland PA so they can keep on burning coal. How do we say “no” now, collaboratively, collectively?

Inconvenient Truth #5. Old ways of thinking can be our undoing. For there to be truly sustainable doings, we need to rethink what it means for us to be in this together – what it means to work together, to say no together when we need to say no, to say yes together when we need to say yes. To allow everyone to be a leader. To be in this together but at the same time allowing people to experience “ownership” of their own efforts. No more just building our own organization. No more just working only on our specific project. No more the splintering us vs. them competitiveness within the movement. How else are we to become the new, cohesive movement – the emergent movement – that Occupy, Transitions, Community Rights, Human Rights, Peace & Justice, Take Back, Food Rights, Sustainable Ag, Renewable Energy, and countless local, regional, and national environmental, progressive, community organizations are converging toward?

Posted in Advocacy & Activism, Climate, Environmental Justice, Fossil Fuels, Resource Extraction, Rights of Nature | Mother Earth, Systemic Approaches, Water & Watersheds,

6 Responses to Martin’s blog: “Danger, Will Robinson. Iceberg Ahead.”

  1. Shireen Parsons says:

    Because of the rapacious activities of first-world human cultures that have caused global warming and wide-spread devastation of the global ecosystem, the world is in the midst of the sixth known period of mass extinction. To imagine that Homo sapiens will somehow elude extinction is hubris and folly.

    • Alex Brands says:

      The fate of all species is eventually extinction. What sort of time scale are you predicting for the extinction of humans?

  2. Adrienne Rayna says:

    Converging our efforts, may not mean giving up doing our own thing.
    Perhaps, rather it means sharing our own thing. Be it our personal ‘thing’, or our corporate
    ‘thing’, offering our unique ‘thing’ to a common cause, may be a way forward.
    What else but our own ‘thing’ have we to offer?

  3. John Brown says:

    Al Gore tried to alert us to dangers shown by scientific study.

    But our right-wing government has intentionally BLINDED itself to science ever since Newt Gingrich was speaker of the house and asserted his Contract With America. The highly respected and cost-effective OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT was ABOLISHED under Gingrich’s direction, because it tended to refute Republican theories on things like the efficacy (or lack thereof) of a missile defense system. If the OTA were still in existence, it would be warning of the dangers of carbon release, and studying effective ways to control such release and mitigate its effects.


  4. Dan Poresky says:

    If you’ve seen the movie, Inside Job you know what needs to be done before governments will pass and enforce sufficient regulations to stem global warming– stop corporations from buying our elected officials and bureaucrats. It can be done if a majority of progressive organizations focused on this one goal. As Martin says,”…work together, to say no together when we need to say no, to say yes together when we need to say yes. ”
    A good example is what is taking place now in the streets of Moscow. See this picture from today’s (12/25/12) NY Times.

  5. Kudos, Martin, for your important efforts to increase awareness of the many threats of climate change.

    There seems to be increasing evidence that the world is rapidly approaching climate, food, energy, water, and other crises.

    Unfortunately, many people, especially Republican politicians, are in denial, thinking it is a liberal plot. I often refer such people to the little-known but important group, “Republicans for Environmental protection.” (REP.org)

    As president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America, I want to stress that one essential step to have a chance to avoid the impending catastrophes is a major societal shift to plant-based diets.

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