Connect the Dots

April 19, 2012

Master of emotive video Stephen Thomson has put together a video announcement for Climate Impacts Day, an upcoming consciousness raising event on May 5. (Since then, Stephen has graciously allowed me to use a number of his lush electronic soundscapes in my videos)

Stephen’s video on the connection between extreme weather and climate last year went seriously viral, and presaged the poll released this week indicating a large number of Americans are now making exactly that connection.

That video was based on Bill McKibben’s op-ed in the Washingon Post, following last year’s catastrophic Joplin tornado – which is going to remain relevant for us this year, and our grandchildren as well. It begins thusly –

Caution: It is vitally important not to make connections. When you see pictures of rubble like this week’s shots from Joplin, Mo., you should not wonder: Is this somehow related to the tornado outbreak three weeks ago in Tuscaloosa, Ala., or the enormous outbreak a couple of weeks before that (which, together, comprised the most active April for tornadoes in U.S. history). No, that doesn’t mean a thing.

It is far better to think of these as isolated, unpredictable, discrete events. It is not advisable to try to connect them in your mind with, say, the fires burning across Texas — fires that have burned more of America at this point this year than any wildfires have in previous years. Texas, and adjoining parts of Oklahoma and New Mexico, are drier than they’ve ever been — the drought is worse than that of the Dust Bowl. But do not wonder if they’re somehow connected.

How many times, after the 9-11 event, did you hear someone say, “We failed to connect the dots”, despite evidence that alarms were “blinking red” in the intelligence community all thru the summer of 2001? Even though the director of the CIA made a special unannounced visit to the National Security Advisor to warn that an attack was imminent, and that an intel briefing to the President himself spelled that out as well.

The human ability to shut out information we do not wish to hear is staggering and sobering to contemplate. That’s why they call it denial.
Per Wiki:

Denial (also called abnegation) is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.[1] The subject may use:

Sound like a familiar process?

5 years from now it will be interesting to hear how Fox News, and certain politicians, rewrite history to include their prescient and insistent warnings about the impending crisis.

One Response to “Connect the Dots”

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