Dyers Convincing Global-Warming Vision | CommonDreams.org
Until very recently, global warming never struck me as the great issue of the day. I avoided Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” because it seemed too much like homework, and when I finally forced myself to watch it at home on DVD, I fell asleep. Then, last November, after e-mails were leaked from England’s University of East Anglia that made their scientist authors appear high-handed and disingenuous - which came to be known as “Climategate” - I figured maybe I didn’t need to wake up.
Still, the scientific evidence strikes me as largely convincing, and the critics of global-warming projections, like George W. Bush, considerably less so. It’s just that, as bad as they sounded, the awful environmental consequences of climate change always seemed less urgent than, say, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the growing gap between rich and poor.
However, a new book, “Climate Wars,” by the London-based journalist Gwynne Dyer, has abruptly changed my mind. For if Dyer’s warnings are correct, the greatest dangers from global warming are the ones that most concern me in the present: more destructive wars with higher casualties and an even greater widening of the divide between rich and poor, with the former able to buy protection and the latter unable to do so. Certainly, America’s Wilsonian military ambitions (in the guise of a “war on terror”) need to be reined in; and yes, Wall Street’s “free-trade” war against giving decent-paying jobs to the American working class needs to be stopped. But if we don’t get the climate under control, any one of Dyer’s eight imagined scenarios might well dwarf these more immediate calamities.