Vloeibaar goud regeert de wereld

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Is het nog nodig de lof te zingen over al de gevoerde oorlogen die zorg droegen voor een steeds lopende oliekraan? Op haar beurt zorgde die ervoor dat de militaire machinerie in beweging kon blijven en een infrastructuur uitgebouwd kon worden die ook in vredestijd pure winst opleverde. De mensheid werd bevrijd van het juk dat natuur heet.
De mensheid? Die kan nu op volkomen natuurlijke wijze gedecimeerd worden, zodanig dat de noodzakelijke ruimte wordt geschapen voor de nieuwe, herboren mens die het antropoceen is binnengetreden. Wellicht zal er nog een finale oorlog gevoerd moeten worden om te bepalen wie deze eer toekomt.




Heat, heat, heat.  It’s a world of firsts, of records that no one could ever have wished for.  From my own childhood, I remember the A.A. Milne poem that began:

“They’re changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace —
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
A soldier’s life is terribly hard,
Says Alice.”

That was written in 1924. Today, with Great Britain breaking historic heat records and the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace “curtailed” thanks to blazing temperatures, it would have to be rewritten as: “A soldier’s life is terribly hot, says Alice.”

Yes, Britain just hit an all-time heat record — and we’re talking about a country that’s kept such records for at least a century and a half — when the thermometer reached 40.2 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit, at London’s Heathrow Airport. Records have been falling in a similarly sweltering fashion across a (quite literally) blazing Europe. But Central Asia is once again baking, too, and don’t forget this country, where summer heat records across a drought-stricken West and Midwest are being surpassed daily, even as unprecedented fires have been burning from New Mexico to Alaska. Meanwhile, in the world’s oceans, plankton are dying at a startling rate, thanks to the burning of fossil fuels.

The Washington Post recently published a set of heat maps of parts of this planet. They’re stunning to look at in a moment when Joe Biden, who ran for president on a climate-change-abating platform, traveled to Saudi Arabia to get that Kingdom to pump yet more oil into our world. As TomDispatch regular Michael Klare suggests today, the Earth isn’t just sweltering. We’re burning it up, thanks to the major fossil-fuel companies that, having known about global warming and its dangers since at least the 1980s, spent decades funding climate denialism and are now quite literally blazing their own paths through our world, making untold fortunes as the war in Ukraine continues to drive global gas prices up.

When we use the word “tyrant,” we normally mean a singularly autocratic ruler. But Klare is right. The true tyrants of planet Earth in this century aren’t either Vladimir Putin or any of his kith and kin. They’re the CEOs of the major oil companies who remain all too ready to burn our futures (record profits!) to ashes for their own passing well-being. So, as the summer heat rises on a planet setting heat records daily, take a moment to consider with Klare who the real tyrants of planet Earth are (and don’t say I never told you so myself). Tom

Tom Dispatch – 26 juli 2022

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