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Friday, December 9, 2011

Historical moment - Tenney writes own post

Dear Readers,

I will be posting up Dave Roberts' second salvo soon.  He "gets" it.  More and more people are "getting" it.

The primary change that must take place if we are to have any chance of surviving as a species is psychological.

During WWII, Americans were convinced that there was a clear and present danger to their survival as a nation.

They came together and shared sacrifice became a virtue, not something to avoid.

Despite all of the cultural and moral changes that have occurred since that time, I still have faith that the American people are up to this challenge.

And, interesting to me, is my feeling that in particular the younger generation is up to this challenge.  

They know full well that their facebook lives are vapid and meaningless -- they want something in their lives that has a purpose.  They hunger for it.  OWS is symptomatic of this.

Another thing in our favor is that culturally Americans are problem solvers.  If you have lived in a country that has a paternalistic culture, you see this distinction clearly.  Americans see problems and we want them fixed, and if no one else is around to do it, we fix them ourselves and don't wait for the "government" to come along and do it for us.  

Another thing is our sense of what is fair and what isn't. Fairness is a naive notion, to be sure, but it is part of our culture. When push comes to shove, watch how fast people are going to distance themselves from their McMansions and their Mercedes.

Another thing in our favor is the truth.

Just look at how expensive it is to suppress the truth.  Fossil-fuel companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars per year, and they still have not managed it.  In spite of the fact that they practically control the mainstream media with their ad dollars, truth still leaks out. We climate bloggers are using a lot of unpaid time to get the truth out, and all of their hundreds of millions of dollars cannot stop us.  Gail Zawacki and Mike Roddy went to California on their own dime and dressed in skeleton outfits and held up Gail's homemade banner that read "Koch Kills!" outside the billionaires' meeting, and a photo of this went viral, even being shown on MSNBC. The small group of protesters and that photo did more to make Koch a household word than all the many articles published up to that point.  

OWS on pitiful means has changed the national conversation. The common American worker, slaving away at Wal-Mart, numbly accepting his/her lot, is now aware.  They now identify with a group called the 99%, and they dare to hope of a change.  And all that took place in a mere two months!

People are more attuned to nature than you might think.  News outlets can call those freak winds in California "Santa Ana" winds all they like, but those winds weren't coming from the right direction. People had never seen anything like them.  When Mother Nature is angry, we know it, we feel it.  Chances are Mother Nature is going to display her anger more and more.  

The man/woman on the street knows in their guts that things are not right.

I think we are close to a crucial tipping point -- the point at which the American public is going to demand action.  They have been a sleeping dog, but they have been kicked too many times now not to wake up and growl. There is no going back to complacence.

We just need to keep kicking.


susan said...

Excellent writing! Thanks.

Tenney Naumer said...

Thank you, Susan!

VigiliusH said...

Thank you Tenney, for all your work, I follow you from my home in New Orleans every day. I catch things through your blog I wouldn't otherwise see. Are we making any progress? Or are we just waiting for the climate Pearl Harbor that will make everyone see? All I can do is what I can do, I am making what contribution I can through talking and sharing with my friends and family. And I planted some potatoes and onions today. Pretty humble, but we all do what we can.

Anonymous said...

Well put and I hope we are near that point. It is always interesting putting this in historic context for my students. We watched this RussiaToday video, this week.
Leisure Society said...

Very well put, Tenney. Perfectly explains why your blog has the name it does. The work you do makes it so easy for me to stay on top of this and be able to speak about it with a bit of authority.


Tenney Naumer said...

Dear Vigilius and Mauri,

Thank you so much for your very kind words.

Based on what has occurred at the last three COP meetings, it seems that a Pearl Harbor crisis is what it will take, unfortunately.

We are not seeing any real leadership except in Australia, and it will not be enough, of course.

But, the more people who inform themselves and are realistic about what we all will face, the better, I hope.

RT News is always interesting. I know my dad paid a heck of a lot of taxes and he didn't complain a lot about it. But he also didn't believe in buying a lot of stuff.

Marketing these days so drives people's expectations and desires, and they are hardly aware of it. They think they need more and more stuff. Well, 50 years ago, all that stuff was not around, and we sure did not miss it. We really need a shift in attitudes and begin to value again those things that are intangible but without price -- family, friends, and helping each other.

Merry Christmas!

Tenney Naumer said...

Thanks, Lynn!

I know I sure have learned a lot by doing this blog.

The thing that got me started was reading about the incredible acceleration of Greenland's glaciers.

I think that must have been in late 2006 or in 2007.

But I was one of those naive people who thought if the deniers had real information, they would change their minds. Now we certainly know that isn't true!