Friday, June 2, 2017

Declaration of War

Yesterday, the president of the United States issued what was, in effect, a formal declaration of war against life on Earth. In a speech based more on ideology than reality, he firmly placed the economic growth of the United States based on fossil fuels as a higher priority than trying to limit the high risk of extinction imposed by one of the most destructive consequences of using those fuels: global climate change.

Substantively, it wasn't a surprise. By word and deed, economic dominance over the world has been the primary goal of the president and his supporters, as a natural consequence of placing one group as "first" and insisting on increase of exponential growth by that group. The main topic of debate has been more around who is really in the group than what its goals are.

Dominance of one group over one or more others without their consent falls within any reasonable definition of "war." Humans have been waging war on other species for millennia, and by now have essentially won. Those who prefer domination over other people have been waging the more familiar kind of war for just as long, but on average have been kept from lowering the overall population by accessing more resources; but now that critical resources are becoming scarce on a global basis, that is about to change.

Those of us preferring coexistence tend to value life over personal power, and have attempted to delay that change for as long as possible. This has been done through development of agreements like the Paris accord and the development of new technologies to get more utility out of remaining resources without causing more damage in the process. Climate change has achieved its current priority due its potential, now actualizing, to reduce resources faster than we are consuming them, taking control out of our hands and forcing competition into primacy – with inevitable, deadly effect.

For several years I have had a creeping feeling of dread, like others whose opinions I have read and discussed personally. This has come from study, analysis, and experience in my own environment as the evidence of growing damage to the world has become pervasive. For some reason I can't yet fathom, the president's decision to openly step away from global cooperation to deal with climate change, even in a largely symbolic way, has amplified that feeling to the point of alternating depression and rage. Dealing with that remains the focus of my creative writing, and is fueling my personal drive to resist in every way that matches my values as the environmental and social crap storm that is now defining our lives continues to grow in intensity.