Too late?  The climate & nuclear juggernaut

At 90 seconds to a midnight and a few decades to +4oC will ’sapiens’ end up on the beach?

doomsday clock jpg

The clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at 90 seconds to midnight.

When elephants fight the grass dies (an African proverb).

Under the guise of lies and cover-ups, the global powers to be have set the stage for the unthinkable, a world-wide hair-trigger human suicide system taking much of nature with it. With the exception abstract ideas or experimental attempts no actual steps are being taken to slow down, or even reverse, the inexorable rise of atmospheric greenhouse gases, now rising into Miocene-like levels of >400 parts per million CO2 within the century, the fastest rise rate identified in the geological record.

Nor are steps undertaken to try and dismantle the global doomsday fleet of more than 12,700 nuclear warheads, where space and the oceans have become nuclear playgrounds, enough to render large parts of the Earth uninhabitable.

The criminal insanity of political, military, strategic, economic and scientific leaders, matched only by the naive blindness of billions of people, is consistent with what has been referred to as the ‘Fermi Paradox ─ the apparent absence of signals from technological civilizations in the Milky Way, interpreted in terms of a self-destruction of such civilizations.

Even at this stage the litany of denial and betrayal never stops. Political leaders who have vowed to adhere to the science shift to promote the mining and export fossil fuels, as if  greenhouse gases do not disperse in the atmosphere world-wide, or they adopt nuclear weaponry as soon as they reach power.  A suicidal element in human nature?

While the multitudes are fixated on domestic issues and regional troubles, including  genocidal conflicts and in corners of the world (Ukraine, Chechnya, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Mein-Mar, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, and other), the price of maintaining an Orwellian ‘peace and stability , including ethnic cleansing, drowning refugees, economic hardships, misanthropic violence, football games, the tour de France, tennis rackets, relatively few are concerned with the deadly games of empire. Even symbolic gestures toward original people, like the “Voice” are being objected to.

As in the history of Athens and Sparta, the stronger force is more inclined to start a war. Like schoolboys seeking association with bully alpha males so do weaker nations look for the protection of an empire, which end up using them as cannon fodder. It is more difficult to understand why, given the scientific and empirical evidence of global heating, intelligent people are prepared to sacrifice the future of their off-springs generations to the $multi-trillion fossil fuel industry and their advocates in governments. It would appear that, once representatives acquire real or apparent power, they leave conscience behind, adopting the Faustian bargain.

faustian deal

The Faustian Deal with the Devil.

Where does responsibility lie? Where humans are caught up in the anthropogenic genome, not enough “good” angels exist. Where competition for food, shelter and reproduction are inherent, ethics, compassion and empathy may not be easy to find. Humanity may be more readily detected among small tribes than in large civilizations. A young child born in a bubble has few or no impressions impinging on its brain to respond to. By contrast children exposed to obscene violence and lies paraded on fluorescent screens are more likely to grow into distorted brain-washed multitudes.

But perhaps the most lethal human branch has become the media, which with few exceptions turned into a global propaganda machine skilful in distorting facts, promoting conflicts, manufacturing untruths, concealing avenues to peace and promoting wars in the tradition of Goebbels.

Surprisingly, the only significant resistance to the genocidal behaviour of alpha male-dominated groups has arisen from the not-yet spoiled minds of children, led by the young Greta Thunberg.

Greta Thunberg


A/Prof Andrew Glikson, Earth and paleoclimate scientist, University of New South Wales

[email protected]

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