Mt Everest and tantrum-tossing talk junkies

Pub date June 3, 2013
SectionPolitics Blog

The world has been rather ugly of late, hasn’t it? From man-made horrors in Turkey as the government sprays its people with agent orange to Syria’s unending conflict to Mother Nature’s wrath in Oklahoma–more trouble every day as the Mothers sang in 1966. So when I saw an article on Mt. Everest, the highest place on the planet (outside of Burning Man, of course), I figured it might be a heartwarming look at mountaineering. Oh how wrong I was.

Anecdotally and via computer model, Mt Everest and much of the Himalayas have become ground zero for a warming earth. With a snow line rising almost 600 feet and glacier fed rivers drying up, the world’s summit is like a rocky measuring stick for the damage fossil fuels are doing. In fact, the Sherpas–the locals that haul climbers up and down the mountain for a living–are saying that the climb is becoming much more dangerous, as what was once frozen is now thawed and loose and falling. 

Not like this is really any surprise to legitimate science, which by 97% believes climate change is happening and man made. Nor is it any surprise to deniers of same that will contort themselves into pretzel shapes trying to defend their paymasters, the oil, natural gas and coal companies. But at this point, given that predictions of more severe climate have come to pass, how can anyone anywhere say this isn’t so (Joe)?

The reason is the same as it’s always been, at least in the US. An enormous segment of the population feels put upon and offended at the idea that their God-derived right to squander resources is being impacted. The fact that said segment considers itself “conservative” is one of the cruelest and most insane semantic games extent–cherishing the privilege to waste as an almost constitutionally-mandated right is the polar opposite of conservation.

These are, after all, the same foolish people that blew a headgasket over energy-saving lightbulbs. That so many of them live proximitous to beaches and continue to act so capriously when their own property may resemble a structure in an aquarium in 30 years matters not–why is this?

Because at heart, the American reactionary is a tantrum-throwing five year old. Exercising their power by screaming and throwing themselves on the ground when they don’t get their way 100% of the time is how a kid makes their unhappiness felt by an adult. That these are adults, at least by age, is flummoxing. By making the rest of the world suffer from their fit throwing is ultimately gratifying to people who have no real say in anything–best of all, it “pisses off the libs”, which translated into English means “anyone smarter and saner than I am who I resent for that”. Oy.

Any San Franciscan that goes along with this ugly strain of arrested development has a slow death wish. Rising seas mean a flooded Marina and Mission frequently as opposed to rarely. They mean Treasure Island disappears sooner rather than later. But because the sheer, puerile joy of giving the raspberry to those tweedy know it alls from Berkeley is too much fun, they’ll happily see lower Market Street into a Venetian canal.

As Ray Davies sang, ‘‘they’re conditioned that way”. Too bad the rest of us have to suffer physically because these fools refuse to face reality even as it drowns, floods or draughts them to death.