PETER CURRIER – When George Guessworthy of Climate Crunch and builder Clive Mason last met, they discussed the manifestations of ecological abuse – the lifestyles and tech aspects, with an on-the-ground look at how planet Earth reached a state of crisis.
As they continue their dialogue here they delve into why humanity is failing to recognize and plan for the climate crisis. Clive has brought them a Coke, and all the preliminary niceties over with, they are engaged in a discussion that Clive soon hijacks.
When George balks at the Coke, Clive, somewhat defensively, says it’s a constant in the Mason household.
OK. OK. But humanity would be healthier and happier without Coke.
It’s a destructive and dispensable empire that has a right to exist, and people don’t dispute that.
Anyway, Coke’s just another splinter in the plank we’re walking.
Have you ever heard of Buerger’s disease?
Yeah. My kids get it every time we go to McDonald’s.
Well when my uncle Richard was interning he saw people prone in hospital with Buerger’s whose limbs had atrophied – gangrenous toes and fingers. The cure for Buerger’s was plain and simple: stop smoking. Rick saw patients begging their visitors to put a lit cigarette in their IV clip because their fingerless hands couldn’t hold a butt. And the ‘loving’ family and friends did it! To me that’s how it is with us and fossil fuels. Killing us but we can’t stop.
All good, George. All true. Even the eco gurus are hooked…..Is George Monbiot prepared to live in a tent? And David Suzuki? – He’s what? Mid-eighties, now? Do you know what a resource drain it’ll take to keep him alive if he strokes out? How about Bill McKibben? Is he about to bike to his next keynote speech and live on turnips? Elizabeth Kolbert has writer’s cramp from trying to talk sense into people. But if the average African eco footprint is a mouse’s, I bet hers is an elephant’s.
Yeah. And Rachel Carson? Totally prophetic. But wanna bet she would be scarfing down the carbon just like the rest of us?
Looking a little lost….
Excuse my cynicism George. But last night it was – 8°C.; today it’s +12°C. Sometimes it swings 30°. And people are worried about 1.5 °C? They think it’s a joke. And what about endangered species? I’ll bet the majority of people have never even seen a frog in the wild. Who’s to miss something that they have no experience of?
That’s true, Clive. Before they wrecked it, the bullfrogs on Stony Lake chorused us to sleep every night. Hundreds of them. That place was as close as it gets to the everglades in Canada.
Snakes on the sunny logs thick as fire hose. Turtles on every rock. And now it’s a dredged out aquatic des…..
Cry me a river George. But people have every reason not to wrap their heads around the climate crisis. You read Monkman in the Examiner? Well a couple of years ago he did a whole-page piece on why people don’t get it. Denial. Dumb-assed leaders. The carbon-based bedrock that people depend on for just plain survival. People feel helpless, and, given the scope of corporate greed, relatively speaking, they are.
Screwing the planet is a process, not a one-time event. And people don’t get the science. They think that the planet-trashing weather we’re seeing isn’t new. It’s just more frequent they say. There’s just more of it. So why worry?
This is pretty raw stuff, Clive. Some folks are not going to like it at all. Are you sure it’s alright with you if I write it up?
Well, George. You’re interviewing me, and good on you. And I totally admit that I could be wrong. Humanity is pretty resilient, and all I’ve done is talk about the problem, not the solutions. Who knows what they are?
But from the UN on down, a whack of people are talking about the crunch, and when it comes, people will have overlooked all the causes of our terminal degradation – and sure, George, the Coca-Cola. The Sea-Doos. The 15 K drives into Lakefield for a tub of Kawartha Dairy.
They will have forgotten the protests they should’ve made against the likes of Bezos’ half-billion- dollar yacht and Musk’s dumb and eco-costly foray into a trillionth of the distance and time you’d need to find extraterrestrial relief for an unlivable planet.
They will be too busy trying to survive to reflect on what they should have done but didn’t do.
So yeah, George. Write it up. But throw it in somewhere that I hope with all my fibre that I’m wrong.