By David Glenn Cox
Godzilla stomped across our movie screens in the 1950s breathing fire while destroying Tokyo and its mass transit system. Godzilla was spawned of nuclear radiation released by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Making him, not monster but metaphor and the irony is, over dozens of pictures as the monster grew the metaphor shrank. In the 1950s & 60s nuclear annihilation was the great societal fear in Japan, it was a wound. Through cinematic mastery a guy in a rubber suit stomping on cardboard buildings in technicolor has become the oracle of our times. If we don’t take care of the things we do to our world, we might unleash monsters from hell upon ourselves. Our tanks and planes and missiles and bombs are useless against Godzilla. Godzilla laughs then breaths fire. Don’t say you weren’t warned, Godzilla warned you!
Scientists recently split open a two-hundred-pound meteor found in Australia. Inside they found silica crystals dated to seven billion years old. In bible speak that’s nearly six thousand years! This rock was whizzing across the universe while the Earth was a still a shapeless blob before Jesus learned to tie his shoes! The Earth changes and always changes and we are left trying to come to grips with a strategy to deal with a non-hospitable planet. Over a billion sea birds have died of starvation. It seems as the ocean waters warm the little fish they feed on, swim deeper to stay cooler. Don’t tell me that you saw that one coming.
That is the extrapolation of climate change. It’s not the changes we can expect from a warming planet but the changes resulting from the changes. Mongolia has reinforced the roadbeds for its railroad across the tundra. Land frozen for thousands of years is now thawing threating a major line of transportation. If an Army did that, they’d be shitting bricks back at headquarters. But what will happen if the rains don’t come? The land eventually dries out and becomes a desert making the roadbed untenable again. What happens if the rainfall is double the norm? The warming tundra becomes a mudflat, and the railroad is toast.
Fires in Australia have sent plumes of smoke thousands of miles into the atmosphere staining the mountain tops of New Zealand in soot. What happens if that becomes an annual event? Is Australia’s heat event a one off or the new normal? Australia is the flattest continent on Earth with the smallest fresh-water supply, and they have railroads too. Godzilla is breathing fire!
Fortunately, a book was found in the drawer of a local Best Western Motel. In it is a plan for the salvation of the universe written by primitive men who believed stars fell on the ground and sticks could come to life and become snakes. Funny how sometimes they don’t catch the meaning of their book, God kicked Adam & Eve out of the garden for eating from the tree of knowledge. He said, “Be gone you pikers and don’t let the sunshine on your behind round here!” God isn’t going to do your homework for you anymore.
Because of these changes caused by changes tomorrow becomes yesterday as plans might be on the board to build a levee system when the rain stops coming. The world’s largest hydro-electric plant is the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China. Intended to both generate power the dam also raises the level of the river for commerce. The Yangtze gets its water from the glaciers high up in the Himalayas and those glaciers are disappearing. Built at a cost of $203 Billion it could someday become a monument to human climate stupidity. New Rule, if you’re gonna build a dam make sure there’s gonna be enough water. In their defense, nobody thought like that thirty years ago. We are the proverbial frog in the boiling pot never noticing that Godzilla is still out there.
The pattern of life on Earth is disturbed, things aren’t like they were and never will be again in our lifetimes. Flaming Koala bears and men in rubber suits trying to tell us the Earth has different speeds to life. To a house fly, humans move like elephants. To humans the Earth moves too slow to see the damage done. All we can see are the consequence of our actions, humans playing checkers while the universe is playing chess. Too slow to see Godzilla at the door!