Look at the shiny keys.
And, frankly, I take no comfort that most people don't see the problem, or at least aren't willing to do anything about it. In fact, that scares the hell out of me. David Horsey does a damned good job in spelling out what that means.
Now, as we grow more aware that we face the worst man-made environmental disaster in the history of the world, we are proving to be no more wise than the imprudent farmers who tore up the buffalo grass. Rather than taking serious steps to curb the carbon emissions that are driving up temperatures everywhere, rather than being shocked by the rapid melting of the polar ice packs and mountain glaciers, rather than seeing drought-driven wildfires and monster storms as portents of things to come, we are redoubling our efforts to extract every last ounce of fuel from the dirtiest depths of the land.
The oil boom in North Dakota is turning that sparsely populated state into an American Arabia. Even bigger is the oil bonanza in western Canada. According to a Los Angeles Times report, recruiters from Alberta are scouring California and other states hoping to lure tens of thousands of workers north to the oil fields.
In a time of high unemployment and high gas prices, this seems like happy, hopeful news. But it is hope built on sand -- the vast deposits of oil sands that give up their black gold only through a process that requires a bottomless supply of water and poses huge environmental risks. The worst comes after the oil is extracted. That is when we burn it all up in our cars and factories and send the resulting emissions into the atmosphere. ...
On Sunday, the New York Times published a set of dramatic graphics showing how several coastal cities will be affected by rising sea levels that will be one result of global warming. Scientists say if immediate, dramatic measures are taken to reduce emissions, the seas may rise just 5 feet. New York City might be able to cope by erecting barriers, but Miami Beach would disappear. If the world hits just the modest emissions targets that have already been set, but largely ignored, sea level will go up 12 feet. That means all that will be left of Miami is a scattering of islands, while nearly a quarter of New York goes underwater.
But if we continue full speed ahead, drilling, fracking and burning it all up, then the coasts will see a 25-foot rise that swamps all of south Florida; all of Norfolk, Va.; big swaths of New York and Boston; every beach in California and, strangely enough, more than 60% of Sacramento.
Of course, this is all many decades in the future, our legacy to future generations. For now, in between the storms and wildfires, we will remain oblivious. After all, until the end actually came, Pompeii was a pleasant town with a fine mountain view.
And that's just in this country.
The horrible part is that our wayward behavior is affecting the entire planet, not just our corner of it. We are so embedded in the idea of "energy independence" as defined by the oil companies (which are multinational and really don't care about anything other than their own bottom line), that we are willing to put up with fracking and drilling in sensitive areas. What we refuse to look at is the fact that those oil companies are shipping that oil OUT OF THE US to the rest of the world, which, like this country, will burn it, adding to the problem but also adding to the oil companies's bottom line.
We will continue to drive our gas guzzlers, leave our lights on, consume our plastics, do whatever is comfortable for us because we can. At least we can right now.
Yet no one wants to talk about the issue: not candidates for President, not members of Congress, and, really, not too many members of state legislatures. All of those folks are more interested in keeping the wheels greased with carbon based products for the next election.
One of the things about being an elder is I won't have to see too much of the result. One of the other things is that my niece and nephews and their children and children all over the world, human and non-human, will.
And that makes me sick.