Conceit and Silliness

Wanna Save the World? Make Sure You Plant the Right Tree

God help us.

Apparently, it is up to us now to make the right choices, in planting the proper mix of trees, in order to properly manage the whole photosynthesis thing. The future of mankind is at stake, or something.

Here’s what I want to know: how the hell did the natural world limp along, without the “assistance” of mankind, for millions of years?

But we have no time to ponder such silly questions. There is a crisis afoot. And as always with a crisis, we get to watch:

(1) The screaming and yelling and stomping of feet by those who want free money from governments and NGOs, since the money is usually handed to those who can make the most outlandish and provocative claims.

(2) The PR machines and media cronies and lobbyists and academics that get all cranked up about it all: nothing sells advertising like a crisis. And politicians, lobbyists, and academics all live in their own private echo chambers, where reality rarely intrudes.

(3) The battle for hearts and minds. Especially, the hearts and minds of those who use the heart to examine questions that should probably be examined with the mind. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Well, OK, actually, yes there is.

But for better or worse, this is the world we live in today: filled with hucksters and barkers, yelling out their own version of the truth at us, twenty-four seven. Some of them even appear to us in the role of “scientist”, along with all the supposed objectivity and emphasis on reason and empirical observation implied therein. Sadly, for most of us, out here in the real world, it’s much simpler to just get in line and go with it, than to question the absolute veracity of any of this.

Because, to be frank, truth doesn’t much matter today. We’ve moved on to a post-modern world, obsessed with “feelings”. And here in the West, the chief “feeling” that we must manage is guilt, about ourselves and our presence in the world.

As for the empirical evidence that our feelings and general guilt level can lead to public policy that can impact the actual physical world in any net positive way? Somewhat lacking.

And in every case, it’s always — always — a crisis that requires immediate attention. And money. Lots and lots of money.

Just a coincidence, I’m sure.


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