A great community of wealthy nations has slowly undermined the relatively stable climate that has insulated human civilizations

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I enjoy a recent book that I came across about the history of Japan:

Japan: A Concise History (2015) critiques narratives related to humanity’s impact upon the environment 

I’ve devoted the current post to the book, as a way to bring added attention to it.

The book’s concluding chapter is entitled “Natural Disasters and the Edge of History”; the opening paragraph in the chapter (p. 283) reads, in part:

In the nineteenth century, when Meiji reformers set in motion Japan’s rapid industrialization, they recognized only its obvious economic and military benefits, ones ruthlessly demonstrated by Western imperialism. Since then, Japan has become part of a com­munity of wealthy nations who have, through the burning of fossil fuels, slowly undermined the relatively stable climate that has insulated human civilizations. Since the Meiji transition to non­-renewable energy, Japan has become a major global contributor to climate change, with carbon dioxide equivalents, or greenhouse gases, at 1,390 megatons in 2005, more than Germany or the UK. One consequence of Earth’s changing climate is sea level rise, which poses serious challenges to many island nations in the Pacific, including Japan. The link between Japan’s nineteenth-century industrialization and the reality of rising oceans is unequivocal and has placed Japan on a precarious historical precipice. For all the benefits of nineteenth-century ‘civilization and enlightenment’, and the economic growth they offered, within a handful of gener­ations it has come to threaten Japan at a fundamental level.

[End of excerpt]

Of related interest, a Sept. 24, 2015 openDemocracy.com article is entitled: “A world in transformation: The refugees’ great march to Europe highlights global fractures that can no longer be avoided.”

What Elvis liked to do in his spare time

At last count, the following Facebook video, which I posted last week, has had 247 views (which I find remarkable; and the numbers keep increasing):

What Elvis liked to do in his spare time

Among other things, the story of Elvis is the story of the power of art and music, and of market forces.

 

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