Viridian Design and global warming

Viridian Design is a design movement about global warming. It’s net-based, founded by sf author Bruce Sterling in 1998, and communicates primarily through the Viridian Notes listserv with occasional online contests which I archive at the Viridian Repository.

Big Mike, the Viridian mascotTo give a flavor of what it’s about, here’s excerpts from Viridian Notes #455, commenting on Al Gore’s recent speech on global warming. The quoted parts are Gore’s speech. The ((( parts ))) are Viridian Notes comments on the speech

"This summer, more than 200 cities in the United States broke all-time heat records. Reno, Nev., set a new record with 10 consecutive days above 100 degrees. Tucson, Ariz., tied its all-time record of 39 consecutive days above 100 degrees. New Orleans and the surrounding waters of the Gulf also hit an all-time high."

(((I wonder what sci-fi novelist and self-appointed climate expert  Michael Crichton makes of all this. Has anybody asked Mike lately?  Maybe he thinks that leftists have rigged all the thermometers.)))

"This summer, parts of India received record rainfall, 37 inches fell in Mumbai in 24 hours, killing more than 1,000 people."

(((Might I point out that the valiant Indians handled their mayhem rather more gracefully than Bush did Katrina?  Oh, and then there’s Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, that sworn enemy of Kyoto…  I wonder if Haley will be available to take press questions when Trent Lott’s newly repaired house blows down, yet again.)))

"To those who say this problem is too difficult, I say that we have accepted and met such challenges in the past."

(((Uh, not really, Al.  Nobody ever melted the North Pole before.)))

"With Hurricane Katrina, the melting of the Arctic ice cap and careless ecological mayhem, we, too, are entering a period of consequences. This is a moral moment."

(((Yep, it’s a moral moment likely to last a couple of hundred years. After all, that’s how long it took us to get here.)))

"This is not ultimately about any scientific  debate or political dialogue. Ultimately it is about  who we are as human beings. It is about our capacity to transcend our own limitations."

(((It’s also about our capacity to endure all kinds of new limitations being thrust upon us by our ignoramus willingness to breathe our own trash, like, for instance, wrecked major cities and our shocking loss of an ice-cap.)))

"We have everything we need to face this urgent challenge. All it takes is political will. And in our democracy, political will is a renewable resource."

(((Although he knows the facts, he’s asking us not to despair. That should be news that stays news.)))

True. These aren’t band-aid fixes we’re talking about either. To prepare for and then reverse global warming means a restructuring of the economic system. People and the earth need to come first. After that, corporations can make a profit. Not the other way around like we have now, with a planet being trashed by greedheads. Getting to that new system will be a serious brouhaha as dinosaurs like ExxonMobil do whatever to delay their inevitable extinction. This ain’t tree-hugging! We need a new economic system.

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