“This is the BBC World Service. Here is a Public Service Announcement. At a gathering of world leaders yesterday in Washington it was agreed that the time had come to inform all citizens that, despite the best efforts of scientists, politicians and religious leaders, the planet on which we all live has now only a short time period left to support human habitation. It is anticipated that oxygen depletion and temperature rise will render life extinct within the next six to eight weeks.
In a short statement, recorded earlier, US President Ivanka Trump said, “Citizens of earth, be not downhearted that our species will be eradicated. Even as you hear my words, we, together with one hundred and fifty hand-picked individuals from the highest echelons of our societies, are headed to our new colony on the planet Mars where we will begin the rebirth of the human species. It will not be easy, but we make this sacrifice on your behalf. I wish you all good luck, and may God bless you all.”‘
I wonder how long it will be before someone in authority has the courage to stand up and say, “Sorry, folks, but you’re all doomed!”
Only a few years ago scientists were talking about climate change seriously affecting the planet by the end of the century, if no immediate action was taken to reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Well, the end of the century is still eighty years away, and already the effects of global temperature rise have become obvious to all – with the possible exception of the only people with the authority to do anything about it, our supposed leaders. They’re too busy feeding their already obese egos with extra-large helpings of international power-play.
Donald Trump plays silly economic games with Xi Jinping, while making love to possibly the world’s worst dictator, Kim Jong-un, and demolishing nuclear agreements with Iran for no other reason than he’s able to do so. UK politics is in a shambles over Brexit, with no hope of a reputable Messiah appearing to put things right. The next British Prime Minister is almost certain to be that king of political clowns, Boris Johnson. He’s despised by other western leaders; the only exception being his transatlantic doppelganger presently ensconced in the US White House.
The list of world leaders behaving in a dictatorial manner is growing rapidly: Trump wants a lifetime presidency, because Xi Jinping has one; Duterte of the Philippines is a would-be dictator and a mass murderer; Mohammad Bin Salman, almost certainly the perpetrator of the foul murder of Jamal Khashoggi, is heir to the Kingdom (read, dictatorship) of Saudi Arabia.
These are the bigger names, but let’s not forget Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, and in Europe: Viktor Orbán of Hungary and Andrej Babis of Czechoslovakia .
Of course, the above list is the tip of the iceberg, with Africa and parts of Asia awash with would-be dictators all jostling for more and more power and wealth.
It’s human nature to be greedy, but these people are beyond greed. Their obsessions with wealth and power cannot allow for any action to negate climate change. They are like a gang of bullies in the schoolyard, fawning over the leader while secretly plotting to oust him and take control. Meanwhile they make the lives of those they dominate insufferable.
Then there is the rest of us. How do these would-be dictators and right-wing autocrats gain their power in the first place? Setting aside the few who gain control by military coup or other undemocratic means, the sad truth is we hand it to them through a ballot box. While bemoaning the effects of climate change, we really aren’t prepared as individuals to forsake the luxuries that make life worth living in this overcrowded world, and woebetide any politician who tries to do so. His will be a short career.
Consequently, while politicians pay lip service to curing our planet of its ills, they are loathe to take serious action for fear of being ousted at the next election by a wrathful electorate facing higher taxes, fuel price rises, escalating food prices, and other stresses on the individual wallet.
Finally, we have the corporations. Corporate control of politicians (including would-be (or fully-fledged) dictators), is relatively easy. We all know that everyone has their price, and if there’s one thing the corporations have it’s a slew of filthy lucre. Recent evidence has emerged of major fossil fuel companies paying large sums for pseudo-scientific reports disparaging climate change, much as the tobacco companies did with the medical profession earlier in the century. Paying corrupt politicians to prevent the passing of legislation detrimental to corporate interests is not even illegal in many western nations; it’s called ‘lobbying’.
Mix it all together and you have an almost perfect recipe for a dish of climate annihilation. No oven is needed, the planet will provide all the heat necessary to cook us all.
Meantime, just sit back and enjoy the plagues, the wars, the lawlessness, and the utter vile degradation that will accompany the passing of Homo sapiens from this planet.
We are all doomed. But no politician or person in authority will ever tell you. At least, not until it becomes patently obvious that they have already left.