Neuroscientists conclude that human ability to focus in the digital age has fallen to just 15 seconds.
When speaking to a class of women and men pursuing PhD’s in Perkins School of Theology (SMU, Dallas) one day in 1990, the professor who invited me to visit his class was struck when students could not return a simple hypothesis of Kirkpatrick Sale (1937 – ) that I offered for our consideration.
“If it had been the design of human history to bring Earth to the edge of ruin, there is no better mechanism than the free market economy.” The teacher and I were amazed that none of the adult students could return the compound concept. It was necessary to repeat Sale’s thought several times before the prophetic comment was absorbed intellectually.
The Global Conference of Parties (COP21) begins in Paris at the end of November as 196 nations hope to reach an agreement that will restrain global warming as they convene for 12 days. Two researchers of USA TODAY concluded: “Left unchecked, computer simulations predict global warming will cripple the planet, leading to extreme weather, rising sea levels, worse air quality, threats to many plant and animal species, and more human conflicts over scarcer resources.” (11/26/15) Retired Dr. Raven of the Missouri Botanical Gardens (St. Louis) concluded in the 1980’s “There are more threatened plants than animals” to which is the only minor “tweaking” I would quickly add to the USA TODAY column.
Overarching the USA TODAY conclusion, is it not obvious that fear of global warming, extreme weather, rising sea levels, worse air quality, threats to animals and plants, and human conflicts have been occurring in the past several decades? Global insurance companies know without doubt losses have climbed incrementally by billions of dollars since the 1980’s. Check with Lloyds of London for facts.
Climate Central is easily found on the world wide web. Of particular interest to coastal Louisiana, New York City (“World’s Financial Center”) is the sub-category: “surging sea.” More than 600 million live on land less than thirty feet above sea level. Hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing violence linked to drought, desertification, crop failures in north Africa and the Persian Gulf have inundated European nations in 2015. Are they a mere sign of climate refugees who might move from the rising Bay of Bengal in low lying areas like Bangladesh?
Those who fled Katrina’s wrath in New Orleans might pin their hopes on COP21 negotiations. New York City and Atlantic coast victims of hurricanes Irene and Sandy will be paying close attention also.
Rather than profound concepts of Kirkpatrick Sale, a three-line haiku (5-7-5 syllables) suffices for COP21. In the next decade:
Will we discover
Earth is demanding our shift
In energy sources?