What If We Stopped Pretending?

| September 14, 2019 | Leave a Comment

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Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: News / Op - Ed

Publication Info: The New Yorker

Date of Publication: September 8, 2019

Author(s): Jonathan Franzen

Categories:

There is infinite hope,” Kafka tells us, “only not for us.” This is a fittingly mystical epigram from a writer whose characters strive for ostensibly reachable goals and, tragically or amusingly, never manage to get any closer to them. But it seems to me, in our rapidly darkening world, that the converse of Kafka’s quip is equally true: There is no hope, except for us.

I’m talking, of course, about climate change. The struggle to rein in global carbon emissions and keep the planet from melting down has the feel of Kafka’s fiction. The goal has been clear for thirty years, and despite earnest efforts we’ve made essentially no progress toward reaching it. Today, the scientific evidence verges on irrefutable. If you’re younger than sixty, you have a good chance of witnessing the radical destabilization of life on earth—massive crop failures, apocalyptic fires, imploding economies, epic flooding, hundreds of millions of refugees fleeing regions made uninhabitable by extreme heat or permanent drought. If you’re under thirty, you’re all but guaranteed to witness it.

Read the full article here.

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The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.
  • Arnold Byron

    Jonathan Franzen well describes the socio-economic collapse as a destabilization of life on earth. He leaves nothing out: famine, fires flooding, migrations of refugees, loss of wealth, war. It saddens and angers me that Mr. Franzen and all of the authors I read are unwilling to talk about the steps that humanity must take to avert the prospect Mr. Franzen calls the destabilization of life on earth.

    I believe this calamity can be averted by considering that there are too many people on the earth and that reducing the population is necessary: by considering that the nations must act together to create a global office with the limited authority to coordinate the work necessary to solve the problems. The work that needs to be done is to build the infrastructure of renewables that will end the use of fossil fuel; to build the infrastructure of machines and devices that will remove carbon from the atmosphere; remove carbon from the atmosphere by teaching regenerative agriculture to everywhere on earth where the soil needs to be regenerated; reduce the population size in a nonviolent, non-eugenic, fair, safe and humane manner and make the effort to deal with the hazards of plastics degradation and get rid of everything nuclear.

    This can all be done by putting a global office in place. A plan to do all of the above can be found at the following links. https://www.ofpopulationandpollution.com/uncategorized/46/
    https://mahb.stanford.edu/?s=A+Plan+for+the+Nations

    My plan will work if everybody is willing to do the work to make it work. All of the writers seem to spend their efforts describing the problems. I have not seen anybody writing about actually solving the problems. In my solution I describe how colleges and universities must join together to convince the nations to create a global office. The global office will have hundreds of local offices throughout the world teaching the local people, building local infrastructure, growing food locally, and doing family planning to help people as the population is reduced. I describe how a global office can be set up so that it will not become a global dictatorship.

    I want everyone to take a credible look at my ideas and tell me if I am crazy or if the ideas will work if they can be instigated. Somebody’s ideas will have to be brought to the forefront and used to solve the crises we face. We do not have much time left to begin our work.

    A note on reducing the population. i don’t know why everybody resists the idea. Through out the ages, everybody who has lived has confronted their existence regardless of the size of the population. In the future, when the population has been reduced to the size that will fit within the available resources, every woman will be able to have two children whether the population is reduced by destabilization of life on earth or by a more benign manner as described in my Plan for the Nations. Think about it. Give input about solving this crisis. Thank you.

  • Arnold Byron

    Jonathan Franzen well describes the socio-economic collapse as a destabilization of life on earth. He leaves nothing out: famine, fires flooding, migrations of refugees, loss of wealth, war. It saddens and angers me that Mr. Franzen and all of the authors I read are unwilling to talk about the steps that humanity must take to avert the prospect Mr. Franzen calls the destabilization of life on earth.

    I believe this calamity can be averted by considering that there are too many people on the earth and that reducing the population is necessary: by considering that the nations must act together to create a global office with the limited authority to coordinate the work necessary to solve the problems. The work that needs to be done is to build the infrastructure of renewables that will end the use of fossil fuel; to build the infrastructure of machines and devices that will remove carbon from the atmosphere; remove carbon from the atmosphere by teaching regenerative agriculture to everywhere on earth where the soil needs to be regenerated; reduce the population size in a nonviolent, non-eugenic, fair, safe and humane manner and make the effort to deal with the hazards of plastics degradation and get rid of everything nuclear.

    This can all be done by putting a global office in place. A plan to do all of the above can be found at the following links. https://www.ofpopulationandpollution.com/uncategorized/46/
    https://mahb.stanford.edu/?s=A+Plan+for+the+Nations

    My plan will work if everybody is willing to do the work to make it work. All of the writers seem to spend their efforts describing the problems. I have not seen anybody writing about actually solving the problems. In my solution I describe how colleges and universities must join together to convince the nations to create a global office. The global office will have hundreds of local offices throughout the world teaching the local people, building local infrastructure, growing food locally, and doing family planning to help people as the population is reduced. I describe how a global office can be set up so that it will not become a global dictatorship.

    I want everyone to take a credible look at my ideas and tell me if I am crazy or if the ideas will work if they can be instigated. Somebody’s ideas will have to be brought to the forefront and used to solve the crises we face. We do not have much time left to begin our work.

    A note on reducing the population. i don’t know why everybody resists the idea. Through out the ages, everybody who has lived has confronted their existence regardless of the size of the population. In the future, when the population has been reduced to the size that will fit within the available resources, every woman will be able to have two children whether the population is reduced by destabilization of life on earth or by a more benign manner as described in my Plan for the Nations. Think about it. Give input about solving this crisis. Thank you.