Apres Moi La Deluge
Apres Moi La Deluge is attributed to Louis XV of France and roughly means “After me the Catastrophe”. Even knowing things were tough in France he had no intention of doing anything to avoid the future catastrophe. He actually made a point of living the good life and spending as much money as possible to have as much fun as possible before everything went to pot. He is best known for contributing to the decline of royal authority by bankrupting France – this led to the French Revolution in 1789, 15 years after his death. I guess his prediction was right. So what does that have to do with all of us in the 21st century?
Hotel Riu, Cancun where many Canadians “flee to” during our Winter
It seems to me that we are repeating Louis XV actions of living the good life at the expense of the future – and knowingly. You see I have been conducting what I call “The Climate Interviews” for 2 years with people I know well enough that they will tell me the truth about their attitudes, their logic, emotions and what they are willing to do about the climate crises. It turns out I could find NOBODY who was willing to make significant lifestyle changes that would even approach what the Scientists tell us we MUST do – to live net-zero carbon. This is NOT because of ignorance, these people know there are things they could do – they just don’t want to. They want to, like Louis XV, “live the good life” – the future be damned. One of them, when I pressed the point and asked them about their kids said this: “It sucks to be you.”. Yikes. That was a year ago. It traumatized me and I stopped the interviews and started learning about Ecological Grief as it seemed that I might be starting to suffer from it. But that topic is for another day.
Bahamas say final death toll will be staggering as thousands are missing after Hurricane Dorian
When the water surged to the level of their house’s roof, Adrian Farrington grabbed his five-year-old son and put him there, thinking he would be safe. ‘Don’t cry. Keep breathing. Don’t cry. Close your mouth.'” But before he could sit on the roof to hold his son, known as AJ, a gust of wind blew the boy back into the water. AJ screamed for help, “Daddy”, but it was too late. The strong surge caused by Hurricane Dorian had already swallowed him.
Last night as we were talking about the day at the pot luck dinner table an older guest said she had been crying watching the TV as she saw images of destruction in the Bahamas and heard that it was possible that thousands were dead. My wife and I agreed that it was very, very sad, but my wife added the fact that ALL OF US were culpable in that our high CO2 lifestyle was the reason that the winds were so strong – 360 km/hr! Our older guest asked what she could do and given the fact that she does not drive or fly we said the only thing she could really do was to stop eating red meat and only eat white meat like chicken or fish.
That stopped her in her tracks. She said: “Don’t you like the spaghetti sauce I made for dinner? It was some ground beef meatballs in it? What about the roast I have in the freezer for the guests from Europe who are coming to my house soon – do you want me to throw it away? That’s a ridiculous suggestion!” She then went to accuse of pointing out her faults and making her look stupid. Oh dear. We had to cover our tracks [she is over 80] and say lots of great things about her cooking. My wife tried later to make the point that if she was sad about all the death in destruction in the Bahamas perhaps that could motivate her to change her lifestyle a tiny bit [by not eating read meat] so that she knew she had ‘done her bit’ to reduce the suffering of people around the world suffering from climate change. No luck.
So, there you have it folks; a tale of myopia and self-centredness from 1760 repeated in today by many, many people. So, given that
“You repay all people according to their deeds.” Psalm 62
I can only imagine that the forces of History and Nature will bring down justice upon us as they did with the French Revolution but now in the form of environmental destruction. The probable breakdown of some nation states, with the accompanying mass suffering of people, will dwarf what is now happening in the Bahamas. So, put on your seat belts, be ready for a wild ride and do what you can bring your carbon footprint to zero. Given that there is now an election VOTE for whoever you think will avoid what happened to France in the past and the Bahamas today.