Year 2, Month 12, Day 24: Of Course I Believe In Free Will; I Have No Choice.

The Philippines got whacked with some serious weather recently. A lot of deaths, a lot of damage, a lot of tragedy. The Philippine Sun-Times runs an editorial titled “Tempting Fate”:

TWO interesting points in the latest tragedy to hit the country: Sendong poured a month’s worth of rainfall in 24 hours in certain regions, including the worst-hit areas of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, and tropical storms do not hit Mindanao often.

The first point presupposes a calamity, the second complacency. When the two are in one brew, the result is deadly.

“Mindanao is usually not a typhoon-prone area,” Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine National Red Cross, was quoted by an Agence France Presse (AFP) report as saying, “that is why most residents were caught unprepared.”

“Climate is changing. We must also change the way we address climate issues,” she added. That’s another way of saying people everywhere, including places that feel safe by tradition, should be complacent no longer.

That can be done if officials dust off warnings left rotting in old files and wield political will to address them.

Meanwhile, American politicians are obsessing about your freedom to buy shitty light bulbs. Sent December 20:

Human-caused climate change is not something looming in the intangible future, but a phenomenon that is unfolding everywhere, right now. Human civilization is rooted in the stable and predictable weather our planet has experienced for the past twelve thousand years or so; it is during this comparatively short span of Earth’s history that agriculture was developed, and that industrialization transformed the world.

Now the atmospheric transformations brought about by the carbon-burning industrialized nations are bringing this time to an end. Consistent weather patterns will soon be a thing of the past; complacency in the face of this transforming climate is a very dangerous attitude.

Politicians from the developed world seem unable to imagine the world we are entering, or to conceive a culture that is not powered by burning coal and oil. Their failure to take responsibility for the disaster they have wrought has grave repercussions for the international community.

Warren Senders

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