a planet in peril

Barack Obama said this last night, as others have said before and with increasing urgency as the scientific evidence becomes stronger, more clear and convincing.
But can we change the ways we talk? Can we alter the tropes of political discourse? He is trying, valiantly.
Whether he wins or loses the nomination, the consciousness accompanying his talk – that which has appealed to millions of voters across the U.S. and millions (?) more across the globe is the real prize.
Australians indicate overwhelmingly that the environment is the burning issue of our times. Al Gore has been saying this for some time, among many many others (including nearly everyone I know in the sciences at UMass). The economy matters, but the environment is the lowest common denominator. We’ve got to wrap our minds around the interrelationship between self/other & self/situation: the determinative frame being between us (people) and our context (the planet). Vectors of history propel us along paths set in motion from ambition, greed, dreams, and visions. Which of these lead to convergence (as in a mathematical series) and which to divergence are not transparent but certain measurements and predictions become increasingly possible.
As an optimist, I do not believe we are on an inevitable path to absolute (unavoidable) convergence, but the attentiveness with which we anticipate consequences to our choices is due for a radical upgrade.

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