Well, we human beings had a good run. We've gone from green slime crawling out of the sea to the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, the use of tools, the dawn of civilization, the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, the creation of industry, mass production, the invention of the printing press, the automobile, the telephone, modern cities and suburbs, space exploration, and the telecommunication revolution.
Then we hit a bump.
Suddenly, we've regressed into green slime slouching back into the sea. Between the melting of the polar ice caps and the fires ravaging the Amazon rain forest, we've reached a climate apocalypse that may well be irreversible. This didn't have to happen. It just proves how mindless leadership can alter the world's climate in the shortest time. Civilization will mock the naiveté of such dire forecasts as Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. Say goodbye to the Earth as we know it, and say hello to water wars, mass migrations, riots, and the shredding of the fabric of society.
- Edgar Cayce
In the middle of the last century, a clairvoyant named Edgar Cayce became famous for his prophesies and remedies. An institution in Virginia Beach houses more than 14,000 of his readings — which have been determined to be 85 percent accurate. His clients included Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison, Irving Berlin, and George Gershwin. Cayce — "The Sleeping Prophet" — would lie down and enter a state of altered consciousness, which allowed him visions of the future. They were alarming when I first read them, many years ago. They're terrifying now. In a reading from 1934, Cayce said, "The earth will be broken up in many places. The early portion will see a change ... in the West Coast of America. Open waters appear in the northern portion of Greenland. The greater portion of Japan must go into the sea. There will be upheavals in the Antarctic ... beginning in 2000-2001."
Any of this sound familiar? Cayce continues, "There are predictions of temperature changes in the deep waters which impact weather patterns, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions." Also, "New York itself, in the main, will disappear. Southern portions of Carolina, Georgia — these will disappear. Los Angeles, San Francisco ... will be among those destroyed."
On a cheerier note, Cayce claimed that Atlantis would reappear and unearth hidden knowledge. He also said that his dystopian vision need not take place with the proper awareness coupled with action. Considering the state of the planet today, that's pretty incredible stuff, but guess who's rushing us headlong into extinction?
Our mock president's performance at last week's G7 summit in France did nothing to advance the cause of addressing climate change. Laughingly declaring himself to be "an environmentalist," Trump said, "I want the cleanest water on earth. I want the cleanest air on earth. ... I think I know more about the environment than most people."
This, coming from a man who boasted about opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling, withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord, claimed that windmills cause cancer, and wondered aloud if it were possible to "nuke" hurricanes.
Then, Trump skipped a climate discussion with other world leaders, leaving an empty chair in his stead. Other G7 participants walked on eggshells around Trump, hoping that America's human wrecking ball wouldn't destroy another meeting of sane heads of state. While French President Emmanuel Macron was expressing outrage over Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's (or, as he's been dubbed by some, the "Trump of South America") handling of the Amazon fires, Trump himself was advocating for Russia's re-admittance to the G7 and hyping one of his Florida resorts for the next summit, citing its many wonderful accoutrements.
Like Trump, the Brazilian president is a climate change denier. He relaxed environmental regulations and permitted farmers and other commercial interests to burn off parts of the Amazon rain forest, then claimed the current conflagration was caused by "non-governmental organizations" for the purpose of "drawing international criticism to [his] government."
The rain forest produces 20 percent of the world's oxygen. The World Wildlife Fund stated that if the Amazon rain forest, sometimes known as "the world's lungs," reaches the point of no return, the area could become a "dry savanna," emitting carbon instead of oxygen. Without Trump's input, the G7 pledged $20 million to help contain the fires that are destroying two and a half football fields worth of rain forest every minute of every day and are spilling over into neighboring countries.
Meanwhile, NASA and the European Space Agency have determined that the polar ice caps have melted faster in the last 20 years than in the previous 10,000. Antarctica and Greenland have lost three times as much ice, compared to 20 years ago. A rise in sea level of more than six feet would be enough to inundate most major coastal cities. If the Greenland ice sheet melted, sea levels would rise by more than 20 feet. So long, New Orleans. Nice to know you, Miami. It's good that Denmark refused to sell Greenland to Trump. He'd only melt it and turn it into the world's largest water park.
Randy Haspel writes the "Recycled Hippies" blog.