wired wanks off

Just as I was beginning to enjoy Wired again, they pulled a horrendous bait-and-switch with one of those overdone “everything you thought you knew about environmentalism is wrong” feature assemblage of featurettes. Stark reverse text is scrawled over a safety orange and lime cover.

The premise: In the fight against Global Warming, only carbon matters. So, ahem, “Screw the spotted owl” the subhead bawls.

Well, slow down. I mean, even the climate lags.

Consider, the enormous levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere today have been building for some time. Likewise, the changes now underway won’t stop even if we cut all carbon emissions tomorrow. We’re in for at least 200 years of the current industry-prescribed meltdown.

So, yeah, while there is time to make intelligent change, our policies have dragged so long that CO2 actually increased in the U.S. last year, according to the Department of Energy.

Wired would have us signing on not only with nukes, but taking down old growth forests, eschewing organics, and embracing genetic engineering. That’s the bait.

The switch comes (offering supposed balance to the weight of shock already tilting grocery store lane captives, where the cover does all the talking) with a well-drawn, counter-weight of argument by Alex Steffen, editor of Worldchanging.com, appropriately titled “It’s Not Just Carbon, STUPID.”

Steffen dismantles some of the more egregious errors in the stirring staff offerings:

No one with any scientific sense now disagrees about the severity of the climate crisis. But some people — and some magazines — believe that climate change trumps every other problem. If we take this argument to its extreme, we should ignore any environmental concern that gets in the way of reducing emissions. And that’s just plain wrong.

Make no mistake: Tackling climate change is vital. But to see everything through the lens of short-term CO2 reductions, letting our obsession with carbon blind us to the bigger picture, is to court catastrophe.

Climate change is not a discrete issue; it’s a symptom of larger problems. Fundamentally, our society as currently designed has no future. We’re chewing up the planet so fast, in so many different ways, that we could solve the climate problem tomorrow and still find that environmental collapse is imminent. Myopic responses will only hasten its arrival.

So this increasing pro-nuclear slant invading a misguided media empire (Discover had another recently), we are finding ourself forced to ask such questions as: Is there an “environmental” agenda to nuke the Southwest again?

Hugh Gusterson writing for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:

Chris Paine of the Natural Resources Defense Council pointed out that, in 1995, shortly after the Soviet Union collapsed, the U.S. nuclear weapons complex consisted of eight sites in seven states. By 2020, Energy’s preferred weapons complex “will still consist of the same eight sites in the same seven states, but this complex will be maintaining a stockpile that could well be one-tenth to one-twentieth the size.” (The eight sites are Livermore in California; Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico; the Nevada Test Site in Nevada; the Pantex Plant in Texas; the Kansas City Plant in Missouri; the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee; and Savannah River Site in South Carolina.)

Paine particularly criticized plans to maintain “two nuclear weapons design laboratories and an active test site almost 20 years after the end of the Cold War.” He advocated retrenching to a “Southwest Triangle” complex located around Amarillo, Albuquerque, Los Alamos, and the Nevada Test Site. This complex would have a small plutonium pit production capability.

Sounds like a lost ally, to me. Remember, we down here are still being inundated with uranium mines, threat of new nukes, a uranium fuel processing plant, and new plutonium pit plans for the next generation of warheads – and it’s all centering around the Panhandle of Texas and into New Mexico.

Perhaps, it’s time we simply declared the region a nuclear sacrifice zone and launch a federal mass relocation program. That would seem to follow the Wired Way. Why does Wallace’s Infinite Jest come to mind and an odd passage about the annexation of a chunk of Canada for the U.S. toxic load.

Anyway, I fall in with Wired’s prognosis that climate change is inevitable and that we should “be prepared for the worst,” but not the notion that we should be unleashing bio- and geo-scale sciences with brooding oceans of turbulence residing in each thesis.

To start scattering sulfur dioxide clouds across the skies to shield us from continued warming, or dumping massive amounts of iron into our seas, is to suggest that this new era of uncertainty is one to be “solved” by exponentially increasing our impact on the global systems – systems the mainstream of our scientific community didn’t even know we were influencing until three short decades ago.

The moment we start seeing planetary systems as something we can master our way through, the less likely it is we will ever throttle back our destructive inputs where they need to be and thereby allow Mother Earth to heal herself and get back to regulating, protecting, and guiding life on this planet.

Top image is from Wired, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand; Graph courtesy of DOE; Gusterson illo from the Union… I’ll try to get back to my our photos, etc., soon… almost train time.

add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: post to facebook

4 responses to “wired wanks off

  1. thanks, ron.

    i don’t buy into the ‘green conspiracy’ or your suggestion of some complicity of mass media in such. (if there is media conspiracy it is pocketbook driven, not ideological.) but when you lay all those quotes against each other, i can see how ominous it may all appear.

    in reponse to some of those culled comments, i would (mostly) agree, honestly, we ARE the problem. no on needs a political/ideological excuse to scare us. the planet’s support system IS out of kilter. we can see it on a micro and macro level.

    we do need to change. and, what i am proposing in this post is that change be done in ways that remove our collective inputs rather than pouring on more.

    that is, we don’t have a great track record caring for the planet that is our only home. (some people need the reminder!)


  2. gharman

    Hi I’m not asking you to buy into a ‘green conspiracy’. I’m asking you to accept verified facts. You need to read Cloak of Green,
    It started as a short story on David Suzuki and ended after a four year investigation in to the “Green Movement”

    As for the media

    Consider more words from one of the world’s most influential and diabolical characters representing the world’s banking cabal in charge of the prophetic one world
    government movement, “… it would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government …”
    – David Rockefeller in Baden-Baden, Germany 1991, thanking major media for keeping secret for decades the movement of the prophetic one world government.

    Please understand, I have always been an environmentalist.
    I an talking about the “Green Movement” very big difference.

    You must think critically and research.

    Global warming was chosen as the vehicle.



  3. i appreciate your input. and i certainly am not far in spirit from the variety of theories of corporate-desired (or directed) subjugation of individual liberties and nations that are out there.

    however, the purpose of this blog is to track the science and monitor the state of natural systems in light of human development and behavior. sometimes i scratch on national/international developments, but generally try to keep things regionally specific.

    it is absolutely vital that all people attach themselves to those issues that stir their passions and intellects, dare to care deeply, and act out with courage. i have found the territory for which i struggle and appreciate your efforts equally.

    mind open and as critically tuned as my modest faculties and energies allow.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s