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In her new book “Fascism: A Warning” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I27X9L8rReo), Madeleine Albright’s states that the Fascism of a century ago was not atypical: “In hindsight, it is tempting to dismiss every Fascist of this era as a thoroughly bad guy or a lunatic, but that is too easy, also dangerous,” she writes. “Fascism is not an exception to humanity, but part of it.”…“Anti-democratic leaders are winning democratic electionsand some of the world’s savviest politicians are moving closer to tyranny with each passing year.” Inherent in fascism are extreme nationalism, totalitarianism, racism, militarism a push for war, all of which are on the increase, including in the mainstream media, not uncommonly exceling itself in aiming derogatory comments at perceived adversaries, unverified false flags and personal smears. Strangely much of the Fourth Estate is expressing “concern” regarding US negotiations with North Korea and with Russia, even though such may temporarily avert the slide toward nuclear war and the demise of billions.

The cycle of death, perhaps a reflection of the eternal battle between life and death in nature, repeating itself every few decades (the 30 year war, Napoleonic wars, WWI, WWII)instigated by megalomaniac leaders, religious pretexts, merchants of hate, and arms manufacturers), does not appear to be capable of ceasing, even if nuclear weapons are supposed to make war obsolete. Advocates of peace and survival, including climate scientists, are frozen out from media platforms.

In the background of the current rise of neo-fascism around the world is a new factor, namely the inexorable rise of temperatures, extreme weather events and the oceans, threatening to reach about +20 to 30 meters flooding coastal and river valleys where the bulk of civilization is located. As indicated by comprehensive studies of the Earth’s past climates and sea levels (Hansen et al. 2016(Ice melt, sea level rise and super storms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 ◦C global warming could be dangerous,  https://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/16/3761/2016/acp-16-3761-2016.pdf) a direct relation exists between temperatures, melting of the large ice sheets, and sea level rise.

Antarctica has lost some 2.71 trillion tons of ice since 1994, mostly from West Antarctic. Parts of eastern Antarctica are already affected by large scale ice melt, including the largest glacier – the Totten Glacier. All thishardly taken into account of by the powers to be, as they keep talking about the “future” mainly in monetary terms, arming themselves to the teeth with weapons of mass destruction.

As in the anal of the Batavia shipwreck (https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/07/01/the-batavia-mutiny-and-massacre-of-1629-is-still-revealing-secre_a_21422401/), the witnesses of the current global warming calamity appear to be busy fighting each other rather than saving their ship.

The train has left the station and global heating is advancing toward +2 and then toward+4 degrees Celsius, as projected by the IPCC and in the words of Joachim Hans Schellnhuber, Germany’s chief climate scientist, signifies the breakdown of civilization. Largely ignored or watered down by much of the mainstream media , betrayed by most political parties, including those who used to regard climate change as “the greatest moral issue of our time”, the population continues to be distracted by bread and circuses. Nowadays even some of the Greens appear to consider plastic bags and the tampon tax as greater vote winners than the demise of the biosphere.

There was a time when the current PM stated: “Now our response to climate change must be guided by science. The science tells us that we have already exceeded the safe upper limit for atmospheric carbon dioxide. We are as humans conducting a massive science experiment with this planet. It’s the only planet we’ve got”, now he is presiding over a government promoting coal mining and export.

There was a time when 2+2 equaled 4, facts were not labelled as “fake news”, “conservatism” meant to “conserve”, “defense” meant protection not napalm bombing of peasants, lumps of coal were not introduced into parliaments and aspiration for wealth was not considered a higher cause than social justice.

Any expectations entertained by the generation that survived or grew after WWII for a rebirth of the enlightenment, of humanism, justice and peace, can be hardly maintained in an era when the future of the living Earth is ignored by vested interests and their mouthpieces.The few remaining conviction politicians do not appear to have the courage to take a stand away from their parties’ agendas. The care for the future is relegated to a relatively small number of increasingly desperate environmentalists and scientists.

There is no Planet B.

Andrew Glikson is an Earth and paleoclimate scientist

 

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