“Adjusting” to climate change?

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Climate change has become the world’s news story, day after day. The world, more-or-less, has agreed, and claims to be working on this “long-term problem” for humanity. It’s
a matter of adjustment, say many.

Except this is not only a long-term problem but a real-time consequence of our population numbers, life-styles, economic organization, etc. We have caused this problem, all of us, on every scale from our personal lives to each society’s organization of its economy. We are causing this by our feeling of entitlement to use whatever we wish for whatever we wish. Crashes have happened before with deadly consequences, but always (I think) in local terms, not covering an entire planet, its entire population, its civilizations.

Right now, the government of Mexico has embarked on an ambitious plan to revive railways (and bring them into the 21st century). The plan was seven major new routes, connecting many areas which have never had efficient transportation links. For a nation depending on exports, this is a no-brainer, although it is so costly that very few North American governments would even contemplate such transformative projects. We seem able to justify such large spending only on warfare.

Interestingly, the Mexicans have uncovered an incredible number of unexplored ruins, even whole cities. Just one region, the Yucatan, is unbelievable. So far they have mapped almost 36,000 separate ruins. That southern region was once the home of the great Mayan civilization which reached from Central America through central Mexico.
These discoveries appear to be clear evidence of a total collapse of a once-great empire, home to millions and millions of people. Whole cities were just abandoned.

Climatologists have long speculated a major collapse here, centuries before Columbus. They have plotted historical shifts in El Nino, ocean currents which modify the continent’s weather patterns, resulting in an incredibly long drought. (Ssimilar to the decades-long drought affecting the southwest USA today). They have discovered similar catastrophes in the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East, ending entire civilizations. But these have been half-conjecture.

The Mexicans have found 36,000-plus examples of the same disasters in our hemisphere. There are similar theories about ancient Amazonia and Andean civilizations, but there is now real evidence. Civilizations do collapse, often leaving almost no evidence. Happily there are these ruins – evidence in stone.

Civilization can collapse, that’s the fact. According to all indications, we heading towards something similar, only this time, it could involve the entire planet.

We’ve spread ourselves across the globe, affecting every nook on every continent. Humanity’s footprint is enormous, but is also fragile. And those features are staring us in the face. To dismiss climate change as a disaster and see it only as a matter of “adjustment” – so common today – is folly. Pure and toxic folly. Mexico has the evidence in stone, no longer are “adjustments” enough.