Here it is. My shot. A perfectly thrown pitch, begging me to knock it out of the ballpark. Climate change. Truly this is the fundamental struggle of our age, whether or not we are willing to accept it. Yet here I sit, before my laptop. My brain is racked. I am defeated. What more can I say of global warming that the healthily grown tome of postnormal times writing hasn’t already touched upon. What cleaver path remains uncharted? I could speak more to what we are all witnessing. We are slowly being cooked alive in our homes, if they are not being cast off in the rising sea levels. Season’s change is, grossly put, irregular leading to a general daftness in the poor fauna, no doubt including many humans. The increase ferociousness and creativity in mother nature’s path of destruction. I could shout solidarity with pride as I watch the innovative robots that pull plastics out of the ocean, the creation of the youngest generation, still yet retaining a sense of curiosity and imagination that will be robbed of them in the coming years. Included in this generation are the students we see flocking from their schools around the world to protest the global lack of action concerning global warming. Though it is unclear how much of this is populism turned to the forces of good and how much is composed of those looking for a day off from the mind-numbing indoctrination and innocence robbing machine of contemporary education. Yet, as my face goes the azure hue, I wake to the sounds of construction that sing me to sleep. I listen as horns and muffler-less motors roar along the congested streets. I watch as bag after bag is filled and mild attempts at recycling are confounded when all rubbish is tossed in one collection. In our hearts the planet’s concern may lie, yet we consume at a rate that would even have the Coneheads begging for moderation. So, in the end, as the author George R. R. Martin loves to recite in his Song of Fire and Ice book series, ‘words are wind…’. And if they could only be collected by wind turbines, we would have a new standard of renewable energy.
Brought for your convenience by postnormal times, here we are in a great simultaneity which reorients our words back at each other. As I sit down to write this, I watch as two good friends, one of Pakistani and the other of Indian descendance, argue online over the revived Kashmir dispute. Reason abandoned, calls for blood and fire underlie very cliché, yet clinically dangerous, examples of uncertain revenge and nationalism. In the UK, the two major parties, the ebb and flow of British democracy are literally dissolving before our eyes as the second-hand ticks towards midnight on one of the most catastrophic global moves in recorded history. In the US, President Trump claims the construction of a wall on the southern border a matter of national emergency, over the rapid descent of the Midwest below the flood’s path, and that which he is willing to stake his presidency on. Let’s not forget Trump’s choice of William Happer, an adamant global warming denier, as his chief advisor on ‘climate change’. Fascism is back, and almost as ubiquitous as Global Warming. And all I need to do is utter the words ‘Middle East’, and perhaps you see where I’m going.
So, what am I to do when the world gets so nauseatingly loud? What I always do in times of trouble. Find a nearby cinema and with the purchase of a ticket, muffle the noise a bit, which, in most cases, is enough.
Less than distant memory gives us a standard for films concerning climate change. They even follow a fairly universal structure making them easily consumed by audiences without much need for thought beyond the simple somatic process of lifting popcorn to mouth hole. These are the flicks given to us by such American ‘filmmakers’ as Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich. Essentially, we are given a shabby every-man protagonist who has a world of his own problems. There is often a half-cocked attempt at a strong female supporting character that has a rich knowledge in science, great for pesky exposition, or fervently independent. Unfortunately, this progress is stifled by that character either having a job in the sexual entertainment field or tragically fated to the damsel in distress trope. Often, there is a curious child who has just the fresh perspective to save the day in the end. Then by the inciting incident the world is plunged into chaos by a natural disaster that we should have all seen coming, but here we are, caught with our pants down. Our every-man stumbles his way into saving the day and even the cute puppy as well. The second act has space for freedom to insert lovely bits of nationalistic propaganda, heart-warming comic relief, ham-fisted political rhetoric, and maybe a budding romance. By the third act, the country, and generally the rest of the world, is left in utter ruin. But then, usually a broken politician, or father reborn in tragedy a better individual, gives a resounding speech of how we stood together as humanity and defeated the threat before us, now with lessons learned, together we build a new world, blah blah blah. Credits. A smorgasbord of special effects accompanies a lesson from your choice of parenthood, maturity, individualism and courage. Munch munch munch goes the popcorn. After leaving the cinema, we go about our classically destructive lifestyles. If you wish for a bit of homework, apply this formula to such films as Deep Impact (1998), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), 2012 (2009), San Andreas (2015), Geostorm (2017), to spot a few from within the litany.