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Some interesting stuff in this: Globe and Mail: The New Climate Almanac, (Archive).
In particular I got stuck ('raptured' as it were) on this:
"If climate change did not exist, we might have to invent it: Humans like to have an apocalypse looming."
"Most apocalyptic panics have been orchestrated by political elites to control the masses."
The Secular Rapture
If climate change did not exist, we might have to invent it: Humans like to have an apocalypse looming. Since the Second World War, a chorus line of apocalyptic threats has strutted across the stage of global awareness — domino-style communism, nuclear annihilation, the spread of AIDS, millennialism, global terrorism and now climate change.
Each bears all the trademarks of the granddaddy of apocalypses, the one in the Book of Revelation. The New Standard Bible Dictionary defines that apocalypse as the uncovering of the "inner and hidden arrangements of the universe [and] the method and original conditions of the creation, but pre-eminently the future of the world and the destinies of God's people" — exactly what the scientists who study million-year old ice cores have been trying to figure out.
The standard human response in each case has been the same — panic that our survival is threatened, and a blind refusal to believe that our survival is threatened. Ditto the eventual solutions, which always reach beyond mere reason and technology to embrace "respect for creation, the unity of nature, sharing, moderation, compassion [and] holiness," as Ron Graham lists in 1990's God's Dominion, one of the first books to describe environmentalism as a religious impulse, a way of restoring moral order in a world rendered godless by science.
But two details make the climate-change Judgment Day different — quite apart from its scientific inevitability. Most apocalyptic panics have been orchestrated by political elites to control the masses. The atom bomb and Joe McCarthy's Red Scare justified U.S. imperialism; the threat of AIDS is still used to control sexual activity. But the growing awareness of climate change, Mr. Graham says today, "if anything, is not convenient to the elites, to industry and governments, but is instead a populist, grassroots movement."
The second quirk is that science and technology are both the cause of the problem and our best route to correcting it. "What's interesting about global warming," Mr. Graham suggests, "is that science has come along and attached itself to the spiritualism of the new age, and the notion of Gaia, whereas before that, science had been lagging."
You might even say that science has seen the light.
Not to mention the bird flu.
"Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan.
"Whoever shall maintain that wrong is done to heretics and blasphemers in punishing them makes himself an accomplice in their crime and guilty as they are. There is no question here of man's authority; it is God who speaks, and clear it is what law he will have kept in the church, even to the end of the world. Wherefore does he demand of us a so extreme severity, if not to show us that due honor is not paid him, so long as we set not his service above every human consideration, so that we spare not kin, nor blood of any, and forget all humanity when the matter is to combat for His glory."
- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, & acceptance (DABDA)
- shock and numbness, yearning and searching, disorganization and despair, & reorganization
This, from Handel's Messiah, always makes me weep ... and then laugh:
"I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."
(Job 19 : 25-26)
A-and finally an optimistic note from Okotoks, Alberta, Canada:
Drake Landing Solar Community, see Domestic Geothermal Heating.
Tags: Ian Brown, Rapture, Apocalypse, Drake Landing, Okotoks, DABDA, Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, John Calvin, Calvin & Hobbes, Ron Graham, Handel, Messiah, Job.
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