avatarRay Katz

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You Are Not Going to Believe This

The year is 2000, and the SCOTUS has just overruled the American voter and put a Texas oilman in the White House. Crazy? You don’t (yet) know the meaning of crazy.

Photo by I.am_nah on Unsplash

Don’t give me that look. I’m telling you. This is what is going to happen. In 2016, we will elect a president that is a complete and utter disaster. One that makes the current situation look like a quaint joke.

Remember when we elected a grade B movie star president? Twice? And he was 77 at the end of his 2nd term. Well, in 2024, the two leading candidates for president will be older than that. The incumbent candidate will be 81 and everyone will be focusing on HIS age, even though his opponent will be 77.

I’m not kidding. In fact, I’m just getting started. Yeah, there’s more.

Getting Away With Everything

The sitting president, the OCTOGENARIAN, will be running against a former president. A former president who was impeached twice. A former president who insulted veterans, who was found legally guilty of sexual assault, who — as I said — was twice impeached. A former president who incited an insurrection, live on TV, in an attempt to retain his office after losing in his first re-election attempt.

Yeah, after all that, he’s back. The disgraced ex-president. And he’s popular enough to LEAD IN THE POLLS. That opens up the question — who’s crazier, him or us?

It Gets Crazier

Now, the entire U.S. government and all its institutions prove to be incapable of stopping this guy. He’s indicted and convicted, multiple times for a variety of serious offenses. And he keeps going. Voters still support him. He is allowed to get his name on the ballot.

In all 50 states.

I am NOT joking.

All the while, this ex-president and his party behave like spoiled four year olds. They try to impeach the current president without even having any charges. Like children, they answer every legitimate accusation with a made up counter-accusation.

The ex-president and his party play the victim. They have tantrums. And this childish behavior isn’t met with the appropriate response — which would be “go to your room, and don’t come back out until you’ve learned how to behave.”

No, the immature adults, acting just like children, they continue campaigning, continue lying and pouting and threatening and whining. They continue pouring false charges on the sitting president, the boring conventional president, the guy who’s just doing the job like pretty much every past president — except for one.

Meanwhile, the Apocalypse

And as all of this insanity goes on, something bigger and even worse is happening. We start to suffer the inevitable fallout from the outrage of 2000. Because instead of getting the people’s choice, the president selected by a clear majority of American voters, instead of getting the passionate climate activist Al Gore…we get the champion of fossil fuels, George W. Bush.

And Bush does what we’d expect. He protects oil and oil profits and does the exact opposite of what is required to protect the climate.

In your time, as the year 2000 comes to an end, climate problems seem like a distant possibility, something we’ve got plenty of time to fix. Yeah, we understand that the planet is getting warmer — very slightly, and very slowly — but what of it?

Well, here’s what: the scientists are right. Deep down, you KNOW they are right — even now. But you don’t think much about it because we’ve got more immediate problems. I get it. I was there, too. Right with you.

But now, in 2024, the climate is visibly damaged and getting worse. We are headed towards a feedback loop, a point at which even if we completely stop burning fossil fuels, things will get worse and worse — pretty much forever.

The Earth, the planet we all live on, is in real danger of becoming uninhabitable. No, this really happens. We go an entire quarter century without making any serious efforts to prevent this fully foreseeable and preventable catastrophe.

Don’t look at me like that. I’m telling you the truth. The way you are looking right now, it reminds me of that famous painting called The Scream. Oh, by the way, that painting was stolen. Twice. And then recovered. As of now, it’s only been stolen once. Wait.

What Do We Do Now?

It’s hard to even find the words that properly express how helpless and afraid most people are feeling. They even have a name for it: climate anxiety. As if the worry is the problem and not the actual doom we are facing. Or, more accurately, trying to evade talking about.

It’s not like people aren’t talking about it. They are. It’s in the mix of topics discussed. It’s like an asteroid is heading our way, extinction is just around the corner, and yes people talk about the asteroid, but also sports and politics and new movies.

The talk is all just talk. Politicians and businessmen pretend to be dealing with the crisis. They announce treaties, agreements and targets. They hype new technologies that they say will — at some point — fix things. And others try to point out that our leaders and various authorities are ONLY TALKING and doing nothing meaningful, that things continue to get worse.

They point out that we are approaching the point of no return.

What happens to these canaries in the coal mine? They are denounced as climate terrorists for — wait for it! — harmlessly throwing soup at the protective glass covering paintings in museums.

No, I’m serious! While oil and gas and coal companies continue pouring toxins in the biosphere, while the oceans are rising and unprecedented storms and droughts and floods and mudslides and heatwaves ravage the entire planet, people are upset at soup on glass.

The protesters are labeled eco-terrorists.

The party of the treasonous ex-president continues to protect fossil fuels, and the sitting president put some restrictions on them, but at the same time opens up vast new areas of pristine Alaskan wilderness to more oil drilling.

In other words, nobody is treating the crisis as a crisis.

A series of U.N. sponsored meetings are held to address the crisis and they fail consistently, year after year, to do anything. They’ve started. Here in your time, COP 6 is about to start in The Hague, Netherlands. Let me warn you.

Even after 28 of these meetings — the most recent chaired by a sheik in Dubai who also heads up a giant oil company — these meetings and the failed leaders are still treated as if they are serious. Hard to believe, right?

The obvious response to all this is STOP BELIEVING IN and STOP TRUSTING and STOP FOLLOWING these failed leaders and their various meetings and declarations and ongoing protection of oil. These people and their governments and companies and systems are committing the worst crime against humanity in history.

We — ordinary sane and caring people — need to take action and take control.

We KNOW What To Do

Despite what many think, even in 2024 with the Earth permanently damaged, we aren’t yet doomed. Climate scientists — the actual experts who best understand the crisis — tell us we are in deep trouble, and need to take serious and immediate action to avoid the worst.

That action won’t be taken by governments or businesses. They had more than a quarter century to do so, and they chose oil and death. They chose personal greed and power lust along with cowardice and lies.

We can choose differently. Now, the systems in place protect the failed leaders. They protect the greedy, the foolish, the authorities who are speeding us towards extinction. So we must NOT continue to respect their institutions, their laws, their systems.

Courts and representatives protect the property of the wealthy and not life, not the biosphere which makes life possible on Earth. They are incredibly foolish and perhaps incompetent. Perhaps evil.

We have reached an inflection point — we must choose our children and our planet, or simply submit quietly to fools who will kill our children, and even kill their own children.

Even the authorities, who cling to power and wealth, really need US to succeed, to defeat them, to defend the climate and Nature.

We know that ordinary people can overcome and overwhelm authorities. This has happened before, many times. We can make it happen again. We MUST make it happen.

A Precedent for People Power

We know that ordinary people have overthrown dictators, and thwarted empires. We know that, even in dictatorships, leaders have power only insofar as they are obeyed, that people respect and support them — even if that support is only out of fear, or inertia.

There is truth to what FDR said — we have nothing to fear but fear itself. We are afraid to stand up, to speak out, to say no. We are afraid to defy and disobey — because the authorities currently have the power to punish us for disobedience.

In that sense, we are slaves. We have no choice. Acting freely, on our own behalf, on behalf of our planet, on behalf of our children — well, that comes at a cost, a cost many of us (sensibly) are afraid to face.

A few of us standing up are vulnerable. But large numbers of us standing up for life, for our children, for the Earth — we are unstoppable, impossible to defeat. We must learn how to succeed at this. We must learn from past movements.

We start with challenges to authorities, with undermining their authority by exposing lies, by challenging their credibility. And then we lure away supporters, their enablers, and begin to weaken their power. Because leaders don’t actually do anything. They issue orders to others. And when others refuse to take orders, power disappears.

Our movement, The Saners, is determined to protect the Earth, protect your children, protect human dignity. We are learning from past movements, from past successes. We start with very low risk actions, with just a few people. But we will grow and become increasingly bold.

We will move from just being a blip, easily ignored, to a firestorm that takes control, takes charge. We will establish a worldwide emergency program, led by climate scientists, to effectively address the crisis. And we will replace the immoral sham that’s been abusing human beings, the servitude and cruelty and lies and abuse. We will replace cruelty with kindness, replace greed with generosity, replace hatred and bigotry with love.

Where you are now, in late November 2000, things look crazy. They’ll get crazier. Wait until September. This election nonsense is just a warmup.

What we have in my time, in 2024, is not only evil, but unsustainable, and we will support it no longer. We will end it.

Join us. See WeAreSaners.org and sign up for the email list at WeAreSaners.org/join. It’s 2024 not 2000. Time is short. We CAN do this. Believe it.

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