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Snowflake says the world is ending

In Garbage Day recently, Ryan Broderick wrote:

About three years ago, Atlantic writer Charlie Warzel tweeted something that has always stuck with me. In regards to the then still-emerging coronavirus outbreak, Warzel wrote, “The coronavirus scenario I can’t stop thinking about is the one where we simply get used to all the dying. There’s a national precedent: America’s response to gun violence.”

He was, of course, right about that. But I think he inadvertently summed up America’s national response to pretty much every large-scale systemic crisis we’re bound to face going forward. The weather’s going to keep getting worse and the right-wing media ecosystem will downplay or outright deny it, and, more often than not, they’ll find ways to tie the acknowledgement of it to definitions of masculinity. And just like the folks who thought they could ride out the pandemic without a vaccine or masks because they were tough, only to end up on ventilators, so too will a lot of folks get hurt trying to man up and ignore the rising temperatures.

This is one of those sets of observations that ties together a lot of disparate strands of thought, making me see something slightly differently—and while Broderick (and Warzel) were writing about America, I think their ideas are more generally applicable.

Of course I’ve heard people dismiss the impacts of climate change, saying that the temperatures aren’t as high as they were in 197X. Of course I’ve seen how gun violence is seemingly just accepted in the States, where other considerations and vested interests have come to count for more than human life. Of course, I’ve witnessed the rapid spread of harmful anti-scientific views during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course I’ve seen the proliferation of toxic ideas of masculinity and the dismissive branding of those expressing genuine concerns as ‘snowflakes’.

But I’ve never before seen so clearly how the combination of those things could conspire in the context of climate change. It’s sobering.

The image at the top of this post was generated by Midjourney.

This post was filed under: News and Comment, Post-a-day 2023, , , , .

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