Monday, October 20, 2008

LOL dunes

One of the things I least like about the climate change discourse in our society is the shrillness of the doom and gloom that surrounds the arguments for urgent action. For one thing, the environmental over does doom and gloom, to the point where our doom-o-meters get saturated and we no longer care. But more importantly, it shows an intellectual laziness that perturbs me. I mean really, emphasizing the negative aspects of the collapse of civilization is just so easy. It requires no consideration, no creativity. I think it would be far more impressive to detail the comforting aspects, the positive slants, and even the humor inherent in agricultural society crumbling into dust.
Take desertification, for example. Surely there is some cheap joke that can be devised about sand dunes rolling into former pastureland. After all, a longitudinal dune isn’t going to stop at a cheeseburger- it will consume the whole ranch. And what better way to illustrate this than a LOL dune:

This longitudinal dune is prograding north from the Simpson Desert in far western Queensland, and is currently in the process of burying the stockyard shown above. It is a bit too slow to eat any beef, however. The station stopped running cattle in 2003, and the land was sold off as a nature reserve. These days, only camels, kangaroos, and reptiles live out here.

4 comments:

Silver Fox said...

The dune is probably disappointed - "I can't haz cheezeburger?"

Sabine said...

"For one thing, the environmental over does doom and gloom, to the point where our doom-o-meters get saturated and we no longer care."

So very true.

Loved the "lol dune".

Silver Fox said...

Doom and gloom - I always think I'm in the Mines of Moria...

EliRabett said...

J. Willard Rabett sent Eli a set of laws to guide climate change policy makers

1. Adaptation responds to current losses.
2. Mitigation responds to future losses
3. Adaptation plus future costs is more expensive than mitigation,
4. Adaptation without mitigation drives procrastination penalties to infinity.

Somewhat witty to anyone who took thermo but YMMV