July 2010 Archives

July 4th, 2010

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On this holiday we offer patriotic rhetoric to honor the American Revolution - indeed one of the most significant, enduring and purposeful changes to human civilization. 

Part of our ceremony is to remember and rededicate ourselves to change as we prepare for future struggles.

In years and decades to come, humanity will perform a heroic drama played out against the physical reality of global warming and a progressively destabilizing climate. This epic struggle will be greater than the American Revolution, greater than any historical campaign or war. 

Anthropogenic global warming has built the perfect storm that has become the tumultuous, dramatic core conflict for now and for generations hence.  The looming battle for our species survival -  will be greater, more chaotic and tumultuous than any other human campaign, bigger than any 3D movie, video game, World Cup, Superbowl, D-Day, Manhattan Project, Polio vaccine, IT revolution, or falling Berlin wall.  It trumps all.

But right now we are distracted and lured into the false dramas of partisan economics and pop-jingoism.   Petty tyrants annoy and distract us from this true existentialist struggle.  We are not yet awakened to the alarm, not yet stirred to battle.  Our enemy is not science.   Our struggle is not military, although we may launch military campaigns.  It is not political - although it requires a unified body politic,  Our struggle is with ourselves as we decide whether to actively control our future or surrender to the relentless threats to human life. 

Although our American Revolution was tumultuously violent, the political off-spring has been the art of peaceful compromise.   The physical science of our changing world is an increasingly harsh reality that permits no political compromise.  We cannot sue for peace, we  can only examine and adjust to our situation. 

Once again, our revolutionary battle is to decide whether to impose adaptive change or accept subjugation.

Richard Pauli
July 4th 2010