Note from a dying planet: Just do nothing, freak out!

Because the world watched the royal funeral and the Hong Kong police have been advancing within the struggle in opposition to disruptive harmonica, one remark caught my eye. The writer puzzled why the media had a lot curiosity within the dying of Queen Elizabeth II and so little in regards to the impending dying of the planet, which was introduced across the similar time.

Properly, there was a whiff of republicanism about this – the writer was Australian – and I am undecided the outgoing Queen’s protection was extreme. If you are going to have a king or a queen—which is certainly non-obligatory and doubtless not a good suggestion—you may also acknowledge a breakout efficiency within the position.

Picture: Leah Mok/HKFP.

The funeral may additionally have appeared just a little excessive, but it surely was only a remnant of the ceremonies that hereditary kings used to shore up their energy after they already had some.

For instance, the Habsburg emperors had very elaborate funeral rites as a result of they have been buried in three completely different church buildings in Vienna: the physique within the crypt of the Capuchin church on the New Market Sq., the guts within the Augustinian chapel subsequent to the Hofburg Palace, and the heart in copper sheaths under St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the place nonetheless Guests with a ghoulish disposition can see them.

So I don’t envy the expensive girl for her motorcade. Nevertheless, the purpose in regards to the planet is an efficient one.

We appear to be approaching, with no indicators of extreme braking, at a number of factors the place present local weather issues – floods, fires, droughts – can be joined by extra severe manifestations of planetary turbulence.

On any given day now, for instance, the Greenland ice sheet might bodily slide from the highest of Greenland into the North Atlantic Ocean, leading to a right away and drastic discount within the space of ​​accessible dry land. Excellent news for some, dangerous information for others. Residents of Tsim Sha Tsui flats on the primary flooring will be capable to stroll proper out of their home windows to the Uber gondola. The retailers under can be inundated.

This sort of factor ought to take up loads of media house and it is price asking why it is not there.

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession passes by Horseguards in London after her funeral at Westminster Abbey. Picture: Lauren Hurley/No. 10 Downing Avenue, through Flickr.

Clearly, a part of the issue is the way in which the information enterprise operates. Considering journalists have identified for a very long time that there’s a bias in favor of tales that match “information processing”, which within the outdated days meant it could possibly be lowered to 12 clear paragraphs, and now meaning they will do the kind. From the spot on the Web is normally devoted to cute movies about cats.

It’s normal today for the information shopper to be a fickle creature, and if he is not grabbed by pressure within the first 5 seconds of a report/broadcast/video, he’ll wander elsewhere looking for extra pleasure. But it surely was all the time like this. The disproportionate curiosity within the title and the primary paragraph of the print story was motivated by the concern that the unattached reader would swim away.

Within the seek for issues that work when introduced on this thrilling method, information companies choose occasions over operations, single occasions over creating ones, and particular people—ideally already identified to our shoppers—over summary crowds like “human” or “future.”

Greta Thunberg within the European Parliament. File photograph: European Union authorities.

Local weather change has not been placed on most individuals’s thoughts map by the Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change – a voice crying within the wilderness for many years – however by Greta Thunberg. But most of us are nonetheless sitting paralyzed: rabbits within the headlights of a catastrophe forward.

After all we’re making adjustments. We fiddle with the thermostat, activate the “Eco” choice that almost all vehicles appear to supply today, check meatless meat and fish-free fish, recycle what may be recycled, reuse what may be reused…after which blow off our carbon financial savings by flying to Europe.

However I feel the important thing to normal indifference is that the hazard is just too nice for particular person efforts, although they could be heat to those that make them. If scientists uncover that onions are dangerous for you, we may give up onions and look ahead to an extended, more healthy life. Giving up beef as a result of it is local weather catastrophic looks like an empty gesture: the meat business is a tyrannical pressure that may survive it doesn’t matter what the person shopper does.

In brief, saving the planet is a collective drawback that requires collective motion. So the essential query to ask is: What’s Hong Kong as a area that has some management over its environmental influence to scale back?

File photograph: Jennifer Creery / HKFP.

And the brief reply, sadly, isn’t a lot, or not less than not a lot in proportion to the dimensions of the menace, which might render Hong Kong uninhabitable for a decade or two, not less than in the summertime, even when most of it. It’s not submerged.

Local weather change did not make a transparent look within the CEO’s election marketing campaign and it would not look like it has been on his thoughts a lot since then. The legislature seems to be transferring in the direction of an even bigger tax on plastic luggage. We can be charged for rubbish assortment, however that is extra resulting from a scarcity of landfill than a need to scale back waste.

Hong Kong Electrical has had a windmill on its premises in Wan Chai for years, and appears to have concluded from expertise that wind energy in Hong Kong isn’t appropriate for energy era.

Yearly or two we get one other story about an electrical bus being examined by a bus firm. Someway all these buses come and go. Electrical taxis? don’t maintain your breath.

Or relatively, maintain your breath – the air air pollution was so dangerous final week that some days you could not see Ma On Shan from Fotan.

Our priorities don’t appear to suit the circumstances. What is required, I agree, is a few variation on the panic. Safety is excellent. But when your home is on fireplace, the danger of housebreaking shouldn’t be your first concern.


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