November 8, 2014
The Republicans took control of both houses of Congress here in the US midterm elections this last week – to Republican cries of joy and Democratic moans of despair across the country.
President Obama ordered 1500 more troops to Iraq to “advise and retrain” the Iraqi troops already being advised and retrained by the first 1500 troops we sent when those Iraqi troops that we’d spent the last decade advising and training failed to make a proper showing as they came up against ISIS and threw one more monkey wrench in the Empires dreams of, well, more empire.
The fragile ceasefire between Kiev and the rebels in Ukraine’s eastern provinces has broken down – warming the hearts, no doubt, of Congressional hawks and members of the military-industrial-arms complex across the nation.
The remains of Typhoon Nuri will hit the Aleutian Islands this weekend, buckling the jet stream further east, later this week, and allowing arctic air to flood down and across the Midwest and eastern United States– to the despair of those of us who did not expect and will not delight in this too early taste of winter.
The IPCC, in its Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report, said, this week, that if we want a 66% chance of keeping global warming under two degrees centigrade, we must reduce fossil fuel use to zero by 2100 – no doubt leaving oil producers and oil dependent countries everywhere rejoicing in the belief that this means they can wait until 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2099, to actually do something about it.
Thus, life proceeds apace in the dying American Empire and its hapless global suzerainty and there seems precious little that we or the Empire can or will do at this point, locked-in ideologically to our oil dependent model of constant growth, to change the course we are on.
The Empire is well on its way to the fate of countless empires before it; the civilization built around it will, in its turn, collapse as other civilizations have, long before ours arose.
There is no guarantee that enough of the web of life that birthed us remains for another civilization to rise out of the ashes of this one.
Nor is their any indication that we are special; that the universe is, somehow, bound to preserve several billion bits of cosmic detritus wrapped in flesh and full of their own self-important delusions – one species among millions of other species on a small planet in a solar system circling a medium sized sun, in the back waters of the arm of a spiral galaxy set among the births and deaths of billions of other galaxies and star systems spread across the vastness of cosmic space-time.
What we need is some perspective. We are not exceptional as a people; we are not indispensable as a nation; we are not even particularly smart as a species – having polluted our air, water and food sources, squandered our resources in pursuit of a belief system that enriches only a small percent of the planetary population while impoverishing the majority. And in destroying the habitats of millions of creatures with which we share the earth, we’ve destroyed more of our own habitat than we can ever recoup.
Sadly, I have no expectation that next week’s news will be much different that this week, or last week, or the week before that. I fully expect that our delusions of grandeur will continue on, until reality intrudes and they can’t, any more.