Sunday, June 3, 2012

"2084: An Oral History of the Great Warming" by James Powell


 A Carolina Parrothead book review




During medieval times with much of Europe engulfed in ignorance and superstition Catholic priests and bishops burned heretics at the stake all in the name of a loving and forgiving God all the while it is said they had serious discussions on how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. Whether that question was actually a point of intellectual debate among a hierarchy of holy men that could believe two very opposing lines of reasoning is beside the point. What is interesting though is that after centuries of scientific enlightenment we have entered the twenty-first century having to entertain the question of just how bad do humans have to screw up the world before they begin to believe they are having an effect.

Calling people who deny climate change ostriches with their heads blissfully buried in the sand for reasons of belief in some vast global conspiracy out to destroy the American economy or religion that says God gave us the Earth to pollute because we humans are the apple of his eye does no good. Because while there are certainly many that fit that description others have money and power on the line, which could be endangered if a substantial and organized response to the problem was developed. So it is very much in their interest to muddy up the informational waters with paid lackeys and convenient fools. 

Now I will admit part of the problem with convincing people climate change is a real threat to the entire world is because that while the vast majority of scientists are great with facts and figures they have trouble boiling it down to a level the average person can understand. Speaking from direct observation your average American doesn’t really know his or her head from a hole in the ground and even if they did we have two-hundred channels of mindless crap to chose from on our television neatly designed to fit our fifteen-minute attention spans. Watching some scientist or wide-eyed environmental activist tell the masses their spoiled and overindulgent lifestyles are destroying the planet is depressing, watching reality shows filled with talentless but rich morons is so much better because it is entertaining.

With all that in I mind I recently stumbled upon “2084: An Oral History of the Great Warming” and found it to be an excellent book about a subject few want to think about. As the title suggests the book explains in great detail how the repercussions of climate changed effected the entire planet over the course of the twenty-first century. In the tradition of other books such as “Warday” and “Nature’sEnd” using facts 2084 paints a dark picture of the world our children and grandchildren will be left with after we are long gone. Beside the massive famines and catastrophic changes in weather the book goes in detail on the political affects such as a neo-fascist president elected in the United States, a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, to a new middle east war with Israel on the losing end to name a very few.While this is clearly fiction each of these disasters Mr. Powell writes about are uncomfortably possible given recent events here in America and around the world.

Could Mr. Powell’s book been  better written? Yes, but that can be said any number of other novels by even the most famous of authors. Whatever the case it is an attempt to educate a selfish public unwilling to even ponder the possibility that no matter how big and limitless the world we live may seem our lifestyles and sheer numbers will make the way of life we love beyond anything else unsustainable with dire consequences for our grandchildren. 

I very highly recommend this short novel. The one real problem I have with it is that it appears to only be in e-book form requiring at least a Kindle reader. Here is the link over to Amazon:



9 comments:

Pixel Peeper said...

I, too, have doubts that the average American who denies climate change can be convinced that it does exist. I've gotten responses like, "Oh, yes, and Al Gore invented the internet, too." After a cold winter, they will act as if this one cold snap is proof that global warming is not real. Of course, a record hot summer will not be proof that global warming does exist. Try telling them they can't have it both ways...logic does not work with such people.

You don't need a Kindle to get the Kindle books - a Kindle app is good enough, and the apps are available for iPads, iPhones, and other smart phones.

Windsmoke. said...

I reckon the only way to combat climate change is to plant more trees, flowers etc, etc as they are the lungs of the earth and will get rid of all the pollution in the air and its cheap to, unlike greedy corporations that are trying sell you expensive gadgets which may or may not work just to improve their bottom line :-).

Life As I Know It Now said...

Including gadgets such as e-readers perhaps? ;~P

Randal Graves said...

My favorite part about climate change is wondering just which fuckery states are going to use to beat back the poor scrambling inlands from the invading coastlines.

Ranch Chimp said...

Mornin Bum, and Thanx for the review, I have wrote quite a bit about climate change in my "Global Warming" series, but what made me laugh was when you called us as being the "apple of God's eye" ... I alwayz called us "God's lil Teddy Bear's" : ). I still call it "global warming" though, and the reason why is because this new term "climate change" was basically started back during the last Bush Administration to sugar coat what is happening, and make it sound "natural", however, I also believe that "warming" looking at climate history "is" natural, I just think that humanity has sped up the process that basically what would have took another 1000 year's (for example) we made happen in only 50 because of our disregard for ... well ... God's creation, the same creation that those claim this isnt happening say.

We "sugar coat" everything with pop culture fantasy bullshit to as you would say "catch out limited atencion span" ... the petrol/ resource's investment's who have mega wealth pay these rent- a- scientist's to make pie chart's to make it look like a professional scientific assessment, to excuse of course the reality of what we are and do, example ... as we speak ... BP (British Petrol)for instance has prime time tele saturated with ad's that the "Gulf" (Mexico) is better now than it's ever been, bustling with tourism, business, fishing, and get this ... heh, heh, heh, heh, heh : ) "better tasting fish" .... and of course throughout the commercial, loving smiling familia's and beautiful music play's to "praise" BP, for the actaul damage and life loss their simple negligence done ... imagine that : ) You could'nt get me to eat any Gulf seafood these dayz after that incident, and I love seafood and live in the Gulf Coast region, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh : ) My point is ... if we find out later on down like 10/ 20 year's from now that the chemical's had some affect on some human ailment, all those cheering now will be crying and wanting to sue BP : ) We have some f'd up thinking my man : )

Later Bum ....

Robert the Skeptic said...

You know, people don't drop dead from smoking one cigarette, so smoking persists even though the health risks are fully documented.

I like to think that Republicans sitting on the deck of the Titanic still denied it was sinking as the water lapped around their ankles. Cognitive Dissonance causes people to reject facts because of the discomfort it causes to their already held beliefs. Information to the contrary is not only reject, but bitterly suppressed, if possible.

However I like what Neil deGrass eTyson says: "Science doesn't care whether or not we believe it."

Mike Williams said...

There is money to made by going green, more and more people are getting onboard, perhaps not rapidly enough, but that will change as green tech gets cheaper and more reliable. At least that's what I'd like to think.

goatman said...

Being ass deep in republicans here, I tend to keep quiet on this topic -- as the farmers see their fields dry up and yields reduced in the increased heat of summer.

Collin Hinds said...

The ignorance of the average American is breathtaking.