Over lunch, I’m snatching a few minutes to read about the terrible prophesies of Isaiah in Karen Armstrong’s History of God. Isaiah’s prophesies – of devastation of the land and the uprooting of most of the people – were of course soundly rejected, and also of course came true.
Reading this reminded me that no one, and no nation, likes to hear prophesies that for-tell disasters that can only be prevented by the people acting as a whole, at great cost in personal wealth and comfort, and with a great deal of uncertainty.
Prophesies of Global Warming? It feels much better to pay attention to respected elders and experts who reassuringly say that such prophesies are unreasonable and even dangerous, and that we don’t really need to make big and difficult changes, that might cause us to be more careful with our wealth and our time.
But who is to know??
It might help to look at the record of environmental disasters that were predicted well in advance, and not heeded. For example, several years before too much of New Orleans was destroyed, all that happened was predicted as a near certainty if big steps weren’t taken to prevent them. Why weren’t the predictions heeded? Because taking action would cost too much, would require more taxes, or would be bad for the economy. All now very sad reasons.
When a majority of scientists and climate experts (not all mind you) are predicting disaster, a wiser nation would at least have a serious discussion with itself (instead of derisive dismissal or stone-walling), to find and agree on creative solutions, and hedge its bets — like investing on a huge scale in non-polluting, low CO2 emitting, sustainable technologies – because there is simply too much to lose.