You may remember the film Children of Men. A dystopia, it envisioned a world of infertility. Children were not being born and there was societal crisis and collapse. The film was one of the most unsettling and compelling films i have seen over the last ten years. I cannot watch it again. It left that sort of imprint on me.
The other day i read a story about how sperm count seems to be dropping around the planet. Scientists are not quite sure why. But some scientists are starting to worry. They are not sure whether it has to do with toxins in the environment or the shorts that men are wearing, but they have been noticing a pattern. The implications are more than troubling.
While climate talks are underway in Doha it is important to understand that we are not just addressing global warming, or climate change for that matter. There is an environmental crisis that is underway. The collapse of bee colonies; the plague among bats; the destruction of coral reefs; and now this. These are not isolated problems and they will not go away on their own. They speak to the destruction of the environment and they specifically speak to an economic system that cannot exist short of churning everything up and casting off what is left over.
In light of Hurricane Sandy greater attention has developed in the USA regarding climate change. But it is up to progressive and left activists to tie this all together. It is not as if we can focus on the climate and not look at the toxins in our environment. It is all part of a package. Please do not misunderstand me: i am not suggesting that climate is unimportant. Actually directly the opposite. It is up to progressives to raise environmental issues in every setting in which we find ourselves. There is no economic justice, for instance, in the absence of climate justice. Some labor activists have been increasingly trying to make just that point.
I am not interested in the Children of Men scenario unfolding. Our children deserve much more. But this only really changes when we realize that the toxins in our environment include an economic system that does not stop to ponder the consequences of the resources that are used, how they are used, and the implication for everything beyond the profit that can be achieved.