Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Obama at Notre Dame

He described this moment as:

"a rare inflection point in history where the size and scope of the challenges before us require that we remake our world to renew its promise."

and he said this to the graduates:

"Your generation must decide how to save God's creation from a changing climate that threatens to destroy it. Your generation must seek peace at a time when there are those who will stop at nothing to do us harm, and when weapons in the hands of a few can destroy the many. And we must find a way to reconcile our ever-shrinking world with its ever-growing diversity - diversity of thought, diversity of culture, and diversity of belief."

I am very doubtful that there is any way to stop runaway greenhouse warming at this point. There is an avalanche of empirical data pouring in from all around the globe that proves the predictions of models used for the IPCC report just two years ago were far too conservative, and that the positive feedbacks of melting polar ice, glaciers and permafrost, and ocean acidification, among many others, are soon going to overwhelm the ecosystem's ability to absorb CO2.

But if anyone can guide society to survive an environmental holocaust, there is no one better than Obama. He really understands what is at stake, and what is required of us all to maintain civility in the face of mass extinction. And I hope he has the gift of leadership that will cause people to listen, accept, and work together once they realize that our unsustainable way of life is going to completely unravel in rapid, violent, and unpredictable ways.

I believe he is starting to prepare us for "a rare infection point in history" and all the upheaval that is implied in that description.

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