Jaquith might wanna try Somalia
To the credit of Janis Jaquith, she acknowledges her addiction [August 9 essay: "Post derecho: I realize I'm the eco-catastrophe"]. This addiction does seem to have rendered her thought processes somewhat muddled. By the end of her confessional essay, she seamlessly morphs her personal addiction problem into a "we" and "our" epidemic of impugned guilt for enjoying the fruits of human invention and progress.
Perhaps moving to Somalia or post-hurricane Haiti might provide the optimal recovery environment she craves. In either location, she could experience "the (lost) skills possessed by our ancestors…who dealt more or less successfully with the challenges of daily living."
Feel guilt-free while inhaling the smoky fumes of burning animal dung heating your subsistence meal in a one-room hut. Use your back yard as a toilet and free yourself of drinking-water-safety concerns. Watch your forests being clear-cut to provide fuel for heating. Turn your back on the increasing lifespan of modern civilization. You will have no electricity for food refrigeration or modern medicines such as insulin. Watch your children die prematurely because of a lack of efficient transportation to medical facilities and antibiotics.
One risk to the addicted is being supplied counterfeit or harmful versions of the addictive substance. Jaquith relies upon the views of an environmental extremist's pronouncements in an entertainment publication as scientific fact to feed her addiction guilt.
"Big oil" money is bad. Hundreds of millions of dollars of environmentalist lobbying goes unmentioned. Creating justification for her addiction, she claims oceans "30 percent more acidic," as does Wikipedia, which clarifies this as a 200-year reduction in alkalinity from 8.25 to 8.14 (7.0 being neutral). Satellite records document no increase in atmospheric temperature for the past 10-15 years, even as CO2 levels rise. Ocean sea-level rise-rates have fallen in recent years. Russian fishing records document the record Arctic melt of the 1920-1930s.
I wish her well in handling her addiction, as I confess to being addicted to the longer life-spans of modern civilization, to human ingenuity, and to resourceful adaptation.
Charles Battig, MD
The author is affiliated with Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment-Virginia.