THE BULLETIN OF ATOMIC SCIENTISTS recently revised its “Doomsday Clock” to 100 seconds before midnight.
Clearly this is not a good thing. Quite the opposite.
Still, it is not yet the end of the world either. We who have the intelligence to actually understand all that is contributing to this state of affairs must think twice about what we can and should do to call time on the issues which constitute the root causes of this worrisome revision.
Obviously the threat of nuclear annihilation is the centerpiece of the update, but climate change does actually play into the equation, as well as cyber-warfare.
What is of the most immediate concern to the scientists and former world leaders and diplomats who have contributed to this revision, apparently, is the “deliberate spread of disinformation”. Why? Because it erodes trust and undermines those who are currently in positions of power. It is these leaders – those currently in power – who control all atomic and nuclear facilities and weaponry.
In such a light, it should be beyond comprehension for any of us to support any politician who participates in any form of the overt or covert spreading of disinformation. Not only does that sort of activity undermine humanity’s values, ethics and integrity, but think for a moment what might happen in a worst case scenario should the imminence of an attack be falsely posted on some official website.
Truth and factuality are more vital than ever now. We must do better in this regard and with a total sense of urgency.
Climate change, quite pointedly, adds stress and fear to the equation. This past year, records show, was one of the warmest on record. We all saw how wildfires burned virtually out of control recently (and some are still burning) due to the hot and arid conditions in numerous environments around the globe. Glacial ice is melting more quickly than anticipated, as well, and that can translate into a calamity for coastal cities in the near future.
All of this is real.
Those of us at the grassroots level must speak up. We must make it clear to our politicians that we urgently need to pull back from the brink as quickly and efficiently as possible, even at the detriment of declining profits. Just as importantly, we must speak to our families, friends and acquaintances about the gravity of the situation.
Here is what else we must do (and this may be surprising): We must offer positivity. If that sounds ludicrous against what was just written above, it isn’t. We must be vocal in our encouragement of smart living in the everyday world. We must stump for the Paris Climate Accords and do our part in acting less carelessly and more wisely in everything we do on a day to day basis.
One encouraging report in this same day’s newspaper concerns millionaires and billionaires. Apparently 120 millionaires and billionaires in a joint statement in the wake of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland have actually demanded that they be allowed to pay more taxes. Why? So that their money can help fund dynamic measures to curb the global climate crisis. These privileged figures understand that they are part of a very small minority of elitists who are given tax breaks by those in power. Why do those in power give tax breaks to the rich? So that the rich will help fund their political campaigns and keep them in power.
In the same vein, giant international corporations like Amazon, Apple and Google pay very little tax. Unfortunately, these and other companies choose to “abuse” tax havens for their own sole benefit and some giant corporations pay no tax at all.
The signatories to “Millionaires against Pitchforks” (what a name!) know that “the looming climate catastrophe”…”will be disastrous for everyone, including millionaires and billionaires.” Therefore, they insist, “It is time for us to act.”
The Millionaires against Pitchforks must act because the lower economic classes are being pushed to the brink by carrying the tax load and not having enough funds left over for smart living. Thus, mob mentalities might one day – and quite possibly very soon – flare up like out of control wildfires. Those mobs will indeed pull out proverbial pitchforks in their desperate plight for food and other necessities and all hell will most certainly break loose.
This is no joke. Those pitchforks will be aimed at the rich since it will do no good whatsoever for these folks to attack those in their own socioeconomic class, although in all reality we can scarcely expect any mob to act rationally in its fear-driven desperation to survive.
Actually, it is way past time for the rich and privileged to act, but better late than never, right? As most of us know nowadays the top 1% of humanity is financially worth more than 50% of the bottom half of the world’s populace. With the deficits of the planet’s richest countries running into the hundreds of billions and even trillions of euros and dollars today, our last best hope is this very group of “woke” individuals! We must applaud them for finally saying aloud what some of us have been thinking and saying for years now, since it is corporate and industrial greed that has created the crisis we are now facing. It is time for the rich to give back for their own sake as well as for those of us who are millions and billions of euros and dollars removed from their privileged ranks.
Again, however, let us applaud them at this stage and grant them their request by electing public officials who have the ethical integrity to listen to them and heed their words. Let us elect leaders who put the populace of the world ahead of their own personal financial gain and thirst for power. Let us elect officials who will not lie to us, nor engage in deception on the internet, nor anywhere else.
It is 100 seconds to midnight…
We have never needed to act with more love and positivity in world history.