Injustice or disorder?

January 22, 2020

To the Editor,

Henry Kissinger, the controversial American politician, diplomat, and geopolitical consultant once said, “If I had to choose between justice and disorder, on the one hand, and injustice and order, on the other, I would always choose the latter.” Kissinger, former consultant to Richard Nixon, was paraphrasing the German Philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who some 100+ years before the Nazi rise to power, said, “If forced to choose between injustice and disorder, the German prefers injustice.” I believe that we are at another turning point in history where we will all have to make this choice, and if history is any guide, we really need to choose differently this time.
There is no doubt that humans are seriously affecting the climate on the earth. Yes, climate change is natural, but through our behavior we have drastically sped this up, meaning that
species will not be able to adapt to the rapidly changing climate, humans included. There is no debate over this, the evidence is clear, but where debate does exist is around timelines and how it will impact people and animals across the world. Just take a look at weather predictions. They are constantly wrong, and that’s because there are so many factors that impact weather that it is not a precise science, but more of an educated guess. If Australia is any indication of where we are going regarding climate change, I would much rather not experience that and I think none of you would either.
Once the arctic tundra begins to melt, releasing tons of methane into the atmosphere, it will create a feedback loop that will prove difficult if not impossible to undo. Ecology Professor, William Ripple, issued a paper in 2018 speaking about the dire consequences for humanity and the planet due to climate change and it has since been signed by 20,000 scientists. Roger Hallam, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, cites a recent study that states a five degree celsius increase in global temperature would mean the death of five to six billion humans and many more species, and make much of the world inhabitable.  And some people still have the audacity to dispute these findings. Fools.
People like Greta Thunberg and groups like Extinction Rebellion, who are using non-violent tactics to disrupt the system and wake the rest of us up, are only growing in numbers and if we are to give our children and their children a chance at a decent future, we best join up ASAP. These people are not terrorists or extremists. They have taken a look at the evidence and are acting to save all of our futures. This is what leaders are supposed to do, but our current leaders are still focused on growth and are ignoring the evidence and dooming us all. My daughter has decided to act for the climate and I assure you that a 10-year-old is not an extremist. She is concerned about her own future.
The extremists are those who believe that it’s okay for one person to horde billions of dollars that they will not spend in ten life times, while others are left to suffer and die right now. The combined wealth of the world’s billionaires can be used to help transition our economy to something more sustainable, if they chose to do that. But this is not likely, as esteemed economist John Kenneth Galbraith points out when he says that, “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.” When Galbraith wrote this, he was referring to the French revolution, but now the insane wealth of those in power threatens not only one country, but our entire planet.  The peaceful disruptions will continue to grow in size and strength until our leaders take decisive action and treat this like the crisis that it is. We will have to decide whether we side with justice and disorder or injustice and order. To me the answer is easy. Our system is already plagued with economic injustice, social injustice, and environmental injustice so why fight to preserve such as system? We still have a choice concerning the type of change we desire. Do we want economic change or catastrophic change? Either way change is coming, which one is up to us.  

Bill Kilpatrick,



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