| Key concepts: Disaster databases, Greenhouse Effect,
psychological operations tactics, anti-Green activism, Leipzig Declaration,
Greenhouse denial organizations, exploding sewers, giant algae blooms
Attention Conservation Notice: It's very grim and morbid, and it goes on for 1,500 words.
Entries in the Viridian Summer Health Warning Contest:
http://www.earthlight.co.nz/~bretts/vs.html http://www.tux.org/~lasser/viridian/ http://www.subterrane.com/heat.htm http://www.ugrad.cs.jhu.edu/~rmharman/img/viridian/sun.bmp http://humlog.homestead.com/viridianart/HEAT.html http://members.tripod.com/~MSpong/viridian/heatdeath.html http://www.premierestedivolt.com/HEAT.HTML http://www.radix.net/~kreinsch/viridian/heatkills.html http://www.provide.net/~herrell/heat.html http://www.gothic.net/~weasel/viridian/ http://home.earthlink.net/~keim9/heatwarning.htm
This contest expires on September 1, 01999
"The current heat wave has been linked to at least 93 deaths in 18 states across the country since July 19."
"Temperatures neared 100 degrees in many cities, and the heat index == a measure of temperature and humidity == rose past 110 in several places. The heat index neared 120 in Chicago."
"The misery was spread all over. It was 106 in Louisville, Ky., one degree short of the city's record, and 104 in Fort Knox. Kenosha, Wis., reached 102, and Winona, Minn., reported a high of 99. Nashville, Tenn., broke a record at 101."
"A prolonged dry spell has seized the East, withering crops, feeding forest fires and sucking rivers and lakes so dry that Baltimore has only a month's worth of drinking water in its reservoirs. Maryland declared the first drought emergency in its history Thursday, joining Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and scores of communities in urging people and businesses to curb water use."
Conspicuous in its lack of appearance amidst this weather havoc is the simple term "Greenhouse Effect." One has to wonder: why don't weather reporters simply own up to the obvious? After all, it's clearly hotter than it's ever been before. The effects are all over the place. The situation is historically unprecedented. There must be some good reason why the weather's going wild.
Well, there are also good reasons why the term "Greenhouse Effect" goes unheard. For one thing, there's a large cabal of TV weathercasters, who, for anti-Kyoto and anti-Clinton political reasons, have agreed never to mention the subject on the air.
It's mighty public-spirited of these high-minded professionals to take the trouble to keep the rest of us from panicking and stampeding. That list of Leipzig signatories may be handy in future show-trials, too. Just in case there are some genuine climatic urban catastrophes. In that case, some climate-politics scapegoats will have to be found and ritually sacrificed, in order to explain to a vengeful public why they were not informed, and why statesmen didn't take action earlier, while there was still time. The people who signed this list are pretty much perfect for that role. And once they realize this, that's when they're really going to freak.
As the Greenhouse evidence continues to mount, we can expect ever more frantic and ever better financed efforts at denial. The many and various Greenhouse denial operations == Global Climate Coalition, Greening Earth Society, Western Fuels, Cato Institute, Claremont Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, George C. Marshall Institute, Heartland Institute, etc etc == are sunk in ideological concrete. They've burned their bridges, and now large sections of the planet are catching fire. They are pretty much bound to become more aggressive, fanatical and panicky as the consequences of their operations bear their evil fruit.
However, time is on the side of the weather alarmists. Because the freakish anomalies will just keep piling up. One of the best lists of Greenhouse atrocities is Ross Gelbspan's, at
Blistering Indians, drowned Bangladeshis, heat-and- smoke crazed New Guineans running amuck == imagine how that list is going to look ten years from now!
I feel that we Viridians should also pitch in, by compiling our own, unique, Weather Violence list. It's too easy to list the big disasters == and it's not psychologically effective. The public is already inured to massive weather deaths in Bangladesh. The Bangladeshis themselves are sunk into fatalism and out of the running. After all, if these dying Third Worlders had any organization skill and political clout, they would have decent emergency rescue services on-site. Just like the G-7 countries do for all their own weather emergencies.
American weather casualties are a more compelling topic for the Viridian target audience, but although the American elderly have plenty of clout and influence, the poor elderly don't. Besides, 90 or so weather casualties across the whole USA is just not much of a death-rate. Those heat-stricken corpses are as nothing compared to the major-war-scaled hecatombs sacrificed by American industry with cigarettes and traffic collisions. And the carbon industry is much, much bigger than cigarettes. Plus, it feeds almost all the cars.
So the carbon industries needn't fear a loss of hundreds of dead, or even thousands of dead, every summer. Those who die are unable to find air conditioning, much less successfully lobby the Congress. Besides, giant floods, vast fires, savage droughts, massive avalanches, these events have been part of the repertoire of global climatic behavior from time immemorial. The villains can simply brazen it out.
What we Viridians need to contribute to this stifled debate is a documented database of specialized *Viridian Disasters." In other words, disasters with a visionary, glamorous, historically unprecedented twist == disasters that smell like the twenty-first century.
Take this bizarre toxin of alarm, for instance, thoughtfully sent in by Alan Wexelblat, (email@example.com^^^^^^^^^^^^^^****?).
Alan Wexelblat perceptively remarks: "I don't have a word for this form of disaster, but I bet we see a lot of them in the "00s.":
Fecal Explosion Threatens City
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (Reuters) 06/10/1996. The Honduran capital faces possible violent explosions of fecal matter due to massive obstructions in its sewage system, officials said Wednesday.
"We are racing against time to unblock the pipes before winter comes and the pipes and manholes overflow or explode," said Humberto Puerto, manager of the National Aqueduct and Sewerage Network Service.
"There are tanks that are full of fecal matter and that could explode because of the gases being produced and the pressure of new fluids," he told reporters.
The sewerage network in Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, a city of more than 1 million people, has sustained severe cracks and mounting blockages caused by Hurricane Mitch, which devastated the impoverished Central American country in October 1998.
Fecal matter and urine have been running openly through city streets due to the blockages in underground pipelines. (...)
Alan Wexelblat further remarks: "Assuming this event is not sui generis, it seems to me we need to find a way to talk about (name?) this class of disasters.
"Result = Viridian Disaster.
"Hurricane Mitch is not in this disaster class in and of itself. These Viridian Disaster events will be infrastructural in nature, rather than merely external. They'll be collapse, implosion, failure type events, rather than explosive, razing type events. The technical system will tie itself in knots, because the planet really is much bigger/more powerful than these systems were designed to accept."
Alan makes some interesting conceptual points here, but I believe his definition is too narrow. There's another class of event that also deserves ardent cataloguing in the repertoire of Viridian propaganda, because of its psychological-operations effectiveness. These are 21st century unnatural weather events that are unheimlich and uncanny. They are important because they directly affect the rich and powerful. They have weird overtones of contamination, filth, and unpredictable, universal menace == regardless of one's wealth, dwelling locale, political connections or social status. This event, for instance:
Friday, July 30, 1999 Published at 21:45 GMT 22:45 UK
Algae blooms visible from space
The algae is moving west
Scientists are tracking the progress of a giant mass of algae which is causing the sea to change colour off the south-west coast of England.
The bloom is the size of Cornwall and is visible from space as a white-coloured mass stretching from south Devon to the Scilly Isles and moving west.
It has been caused by a rapidly expanding microscopic plant, Emiliania huxleyi.
This sheds its chalky outer layers, colouring the sea turquoise or milky blue.
'Harmless but unusual'
Experts at Plymouth Marine Laboratory say it is harmless but unusually close to shore and was triggered by hot, calm weather.
Local fishermen say they have never seen anything like it.
One skipper, Douglas Pooley, said: "It was like something out of a science fiction movie. We steamed about eight miles and we were in amongst it all the time."
Another man who steered his boat through the bloom said: "It's like sailing through milk."
If only Prince Charles had happened to sail his yacht through this massive, uncanny blob! But rest easy == some day that will happen. We'll have the celebrity Rock Hudsons of the Greenhouse Effect, the carbon Chernobyls and carbon Three Mile Islands. We Viridians must be alert for these events, and make it our business to promote them.
We are looking for disasters that possess this haunting, poetic, attention-seizing, paradigmatic quality. Viridian Disasters must provoke the resonant, creepy feeling one has when one realizes that every scrap of the planet's atmosphere has been defiled by the carbon-mining industries (and that the seas are following suit).
The carbon-miners will not go easily == because they already saw what happened to the nuclear people. They can be counted on to fight to the end. The keynote we Viridians are searching for is not the body count, but a skin-creeping, bone-deep aesthetic revulsion against the Greenhouse and all its works.
O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O