Global Catastrophe

I recently came across another of those ubiquitous articles about what we can do to stop climate catastrophe. Those articles always amuse me because some of their suggestions are the same sort of things Americans were told to do in the depression, in the world wars, in the early days of the population explosion. In fact, they are the very things I have been doing my whole life, such as reducing food waste (what food waste? I have no food waste) and reducing water usage.

Other things, though, are about spending money. Lots of money. The article stressed weather-proofing one’s house, which is a good idea because it reduces energy bills. It also said to invest in energy-efficient appliances, but if you keep your use of appliances to a minimum, there’s no need to buy new appliances especially since the old ones are going to clog landfills. Same with vehicles. There’s no need to invest in an energy-efficient or expensive electric vehicle if you simply drive less. (In the past fifty years, I’ve driven fewer than 200,000 miles. Still way too much, but almost nothing compared to most people.) They conveniently forget to mention that the batteries on electric cars wear out and that they pose a hazard when they are dumped.

One thing they never, ever say anymore is to have fewer children. Back when I was child-bearing age, not having children was supposed to be good for the world and the environment to reduce the toll of overpopulation, a philosophy I adhered to. Unfortunately, most of those believers suddenly changed their minds when their biological clocks started ticking, so there was a bit of baby boom when those women who had put off having kids ended up having kids at the same time as the younger generation.

I know a woman my age who has 65 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. If she had not had any children, there would be 65 fewer people on the earth to contribute to any sort of global catastrophe. There would also be 65 fewer people to buy all those energy efficient appliances and electric vehicles, which is probably why the whole zero population growth movement died decades ago.

I suppose I should be less amused by the whole global warming thing, and I might be if it weren’t for the fact that the same panic mode has been touted my whole life while the subject of that panic has changed. And if there weren’t so much emphasis on spending money and making rich people richer. 

In thinking about all this, I considered writing a book about some catastrophe outside of our control that was about to descend on us, such as sun emissions or comets or aliens or whatever, and the whole climate change scenario was to keep us peons focused on our guilt while the power brokers raked in the cash until the catastrophe came so near that they couldn’t hide it any more.

And then it dawned on me. I already wrote that book — Light Bringer. In the novel, the problems Earth is facing has to do with a tenth planet in our solar system, one with such a huge elliptical orbit that it returns to affect Earth every 3,600 years, as was explained in this brief excerpt:

Philip made a harsh sound that might have been laughter. “In the fifties and sixties, stories of alien encounters were about saving the earth from nuclear weapons. In the seventies, eighties, and nineties, they were about saving the earth from global warming. Today they’re about creating a one world government, warning us that if we don’t have a unified global agenda, we don’t get to join the galactic federation.”

“Those are nothing more than systems of myth that each generation accepts,” Teodora said. “What we are dealing with here is a real problem. There is a tenth planet in our solar system, and it is close enough that it is already having adverse affects on the earth. Besides the growing severity of all types of storms, during the twentieth century there has been an escalating number of major earthquakes of unexplained origin. The global warming you mentioned is also being caused by the nearing planet, and during the coming years things are going to get worse.”

It could be true. Who knows.