Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Get Rich or Die Tryin'

If you were heartened by the benefits of runaway climate change to Greenland's 50,000 beleaguered souls, you'll be glad to know that the Arctic's doom will likewise be the salvation of Churchill, Manitoba (population 1,110). Here's local luminary Darren Ottoway, explaining the hard facts the rest of us are missing:

You know, nature's going to respond to global warming. It'll adapt on its own. What global warming really represents is an economic issue. That's really what it is. How do we adapt to changing weather and climate? And how do we capitalize on that economic opportunity? And this is really, I think, where we're going to come ahead of the game because we're not looking at it as being a negative impact. It has a lot of positive impacts.
I'm certain that nature will respond to global warming. But there's no reason to assume that this response will be comfortable, or even survivable, for us. The idea that the world's loss could somehow be Churchill's gain involves a degree of smug alienation that I can't even begin to fathom; civic boosterism in response to Arctic meltdown is Babbittry on an almost cosmic scale, and it reaffirms that money is to mediocrities what glue traps are to mice.

Although I've often complained about the left-wing tendency to long for an environmental apocalypse in much the same way that fundamentalists long for the Rapture, I do understand the desire to see these vexing arguments settled once and for all. Obviously, I'd prefer not to have humanity wiped out (or even made to suffer so much as a stubbed toe, honestly). But if a global catastrophe must happen, there's some cold comfort to be had in the thought that it'll permanently knock the dollar signs from the eyes of people like Darren Ottoway.


angvou said...

Phew--So glad its a *Canadian* being crass, witless and monumentally self-serving for once.
Having now read this and your earlier posts on Apocalypse mania I'm ashamed at my facile take on my own End-days preoccupation. A post I wrote a couple weeks ago trying to understand my feelings barely scratched the surface.

"left-wing melancholics tend to feel that destruction will punish or cleanse them"

I absolutely see a bit of myself in this though I believe I'm a lot less self-flagellating... My eschatological interests don't stop me from trying for and hoping for "lots of little solutions" none the less. I think its a childish notion that its got to be something REALLY BIG to get 'humanity's' attention, and if we (all) don't heed the signs then, well, we've got what's coming to us.
But after all, apocalyse doesn't etymologically mean "end"/"calamity" it means revealing or unveiling.

I so thoroughly relished this and your previous posts on this topic because I've learned quite a bit.

angvou said...

I should clarify that I do, in fact, hold the "childish notion that its got to be something REALLY BIG to get 'humanity's' attention, and if we (all) don't heed the signs then, well, we've got what's coming to us."

Phila said...


Thanks for the kind words.

I think those feelings are natural and even justifiable. And in writing against them, I'm writing against myself to an extent.

The question I always try to ask is: Is my oppositional position really oppositional, or is it simply another manifestation of an underlying problem? The answer seldom comforts me, sad to say....