Friday, September 15, 2017

We’ve Lost the Climate War. It’s Time to Surrender. -- an oped by Leah D. Schade (with comments after the article)


We’ve Lost the Climate War. It’s Time to Surrender. -- an oped by Lead D. Schade (with comments after the article) #CliFi

We’ve Lost the Climate War. It’s Time to Surrender.


Well if we’ve past the point of no return, maybe the best action to take is just to double down and burn up all the resources we can living as hedonistically and extravagantly as possible till we die. Someone else can clean up later, I’m going to have my cake and eat it too, once I’m dead I don’t care so long as I get my fill of pleasure now!

“Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and — sans End!”

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XXIV translated by FitzGerald.

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      It is gratifying to see that you are very concerned about the problem of climate change. The destruction caused by this phenomenon is truly great. However I think that to even start to reverse it's negative impact governments would have to stop the use of fossil fuels immediately. This would never happen. Why? Because the social and economic and political disruption that this would cause would utterly disrupt all human organizations on the earth. We are well stuck on this path . I mean the path of climate change. I think that there is actually no way out. So unless we find new techniques to ameliorate the damage we are in very very bad shape indeed. And that cannot be implemented in a short time period.

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              Nature is giving us a Potsdam Declaration that demands the complete disarmament of our fossil-fuel industry and the unconditional surrender of our imperialistic economy. And as with the ultimatum of that historic declaration over 70 years ago, we are being promised “prompt and utter destruction” if we do not surrender.
              An interesting perspective from a Christian. Your God comes across as quite powerless in your writing, i.e. humanity is our only hope.

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                  You may not have read the last part of the piece:
                  “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?” (Luke 9:24-25).
                  In other words, to save this country, we must surrender to a higher calling of humility, obedience to the dictates of God’s Creation, and radical focus on rebuilding a just and equitable society and economic infrastructure focusing on “the least of these” – those who have suffered under our oppressive reign.
                  As a Lutheran, my theology orients around a different understanding of God's power than that of some Christians. Luther taught the "theology of the cross," where God's power is hidden in the last place we would think to look - the apparently God-forsaken place of a humiliating death by state execution. The Resurrection upends all human standards of power. In my book, Creation-Crisis Preaching, I talk about the eco-crucifixion and the eco-resurrection. We must go to the apparently God-forsaken places of environmental (inclusive of human) devastation. That is where we find Jesus beckoning to us to follow.
                  So yes, God kenotically chooses powerlessness by human standards. Because there is an even more mysterious and life-giving power that comes from God. And I still believe that power is at work, even as we are facing the planet's darkest hours.
                  Thank you for your comment and engaging the piece.

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                      Yes, I read the entire piece. I am not sure I can make the connections you're implying or if I adequately made my initial observation. After further thought and reading other posts, I'll try again. I believe we diverge at our view on the sovereignty of God, or the extent thereof. Perhaps it's my fondness for Calvin. I am not alarmed by the "climate change" to the degree I see in others. That is neither an endorsement or rejection of the science involved. Either God is in control of such things or he is not, in which case I'll start preparing now to be spectacularly disappointed by humanity. Also, I have no affection or animus towards the planet. Such feelings toward the earth simply do not reside in me for whatever reason. Clearly they do in others as you have so rightly observed in your reminder above regarding conduct. Anyhow, in the absence of these feelings I seem to also lack the intense survival instincts on display in some of the posts (colonizing space, Go figure. Anyhow, I appreciate your continued civil discourse on the matter in light of what I see from many others. I don't post this to illicit a response, this is merely an observation.

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                      I read this via your FB page and just want to add this thought. I have never liked the "war" language theat McKibben started to use. We are not at war with climate - which is not the source of our crisis in any case. It is symptom of it, and only one of many. I would like to completely demilitarize our language now and get to the heart of the matter. Our western relationship with the planet is one of exploitation and profound abuse. We have to heal a badly broken relationship with our fellow sentient and non-sentient beings if we want to keep living here. You are right on target about how to do that - it can only be done by bringing down our fossil fueled consumer-based economy and allowing the planet to heal itself - and us within it. Thanks for this.

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                          I am deeply honored by your words, Margaret. When I think back to my first reading of your book "Living Beyond the End of the World," and how it has shaped my thinking, writing, and activism - what you have said here means a great deal to me. Blessings and in solidarity!

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