It is now 100 seconds to midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the closest to disaster it has ever been.
Though the clock is symbolic, it is also a marker of uncertainty and for the possibility of things to come. Started in 1947 by a group of scientists involved in the Manhattan project (which included Albert Einstein), it was created to signify impending catastrophe inspired by human activity including conflict, nuclear war, pandemics and climate change.
In the past decade, threats to human safety in the shape of conflict and wild fires made more likely by climate change have intensified. As gargantuan as they are, they’re but a shaving of things to come.
Climate change has continued to spiral out of control through a lack of strategic positioning on what each nation should do. Absence of empathy due to a lack of foresight is hindering societal and environmental development, but the biggest problem is the biggest problem child in the room – the world wide wrestling federation of the United States of America, its bureaucracy and talent for insatiable entertainment styled news reporting.
Starvation of critical talking points is being overshadowed by a demanding array of misfortune and cheap effervescence loudly played by the bagpipes of dichotomy in the illusion between do-good and no-good. Sure there are a plethora of good movements pushing for change, but are they merely just suggestions or are they tangible actions?
The election of Joe Biden was for many reasons an obvious step in the right direction, and of course signing executive orders that reversed damaging policies installed by the Trump administration was a bravo moment. But, what will it change? Many a protestor and campaigner cheered the momentous suggestion of climate forward, but it seems that we’re pretty much stuck in the same place we were before. Prior to Trump, the US, under the stewardship of Obama and Biden were part of the Paris accords yet the climate effort was a backseat story.
What has changed?
Not much, only increasing amounts of carbon emissions released throughout the years. Prior to Joe Biden’s election win, he was presiding over the office of Vice-President under the Obama administration. This isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Obama did wonders for the United States economy of course, but global emissions pretty much stayed on trend.
According to NASA, carbon emissions have increased by approximately 28.37ppm since Obama’s inauguration. Obama alongside Joe Biden did pretty much nothing on the climate front, sitting on the issue, preferring to wage drone strike wars in Pakistan and Afghanistan and fighting against greenhouse gas regulation.
Very few executive orders inspired change at executive branch level and climate change has become so dangerous that even talking about it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Who knows what the future holds, but it definitely isn’t something the White House is willing to change anytime soon. There is a trend of blowing ones own trumpet in the United States regardless of whether anything gets done at all. But in this case, it seems breaking something is easier to do.
We want to be optimistic, but lets begin by steering optimism in the direction of the White House. Right now, we have an administration of talkers that require a reality check in the form of heat waves in south-Asia, flooding in Europe, droughts in east Africa and sea-level rise in its own back yard. Going by past experience, we will need to campaign world leaders harder than ever before.