“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


It's an accurate term, actually, and not only because Sandy has kluged together with winter storms in the area. If you assume that people usually elide Frankenstein and his creature, then it's apt, since the storm for sure is the creation of humans. A symptom of global warming.

The persistent media silence over whether the storm has anything to do with global warming is deafening.

And when the issue is brought up, it's usually in the form of a question such as “Is Sandy caused by global warming?” This question is, of course, exactly the wrong one: it is falsely posed in a drastic way.

At this point, there is no such thing as a weather pattern not created by global warming. The analogy is rather like this:

There are no subway stations in New York that are not part of the New York subway system.

Again, it's time to drop the cynical mode humanists have been stuck in since the later eighteenth century. Time to drop it. What we don't need now is another critique of why “doing something” is playing into power, or making us look uncool, or ignoring other stuff, or whatever other kettle logic.

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