Climate change disasters happening now will pale in comparison to those in the future.

by Tom Engelhardt, Tom Dispatch

From the earliest kingdoms to late last night, history has been the story not just of the rise of great powers but of their decline and fall. So, normally, there would be nothing particularly out of the ordinary about the aging America of Joe Biden and Donald Trump, a classic imperial power distinctly in decline and threatening to split into pieces.

As it happens, though, there’s something all too new about the twenty-first-century decline and fall of that other great power of the Cold War era — you know, not the Soviet Union. After all, the present downhill slide of this country is happening on a planet that itself is distinctly in trouble in terms of what’s always passed for a decent human life — and that, believe me, is something new under the sun. In fact, in some fashion, the scenario all of us, each in our own fashion, are now living through may be the least known ever.

Firefighters walk the beach amidst fires

Think of it, if you will, as the orange-sky scenario. I’m sure you remember when New York City’s skyline went orange thanks to the smoke from hundreds of wildfires then burning across Canada that drifted our way. And though it’s hardly even considered news anymore, as of August 25th, nearly three months later, there were still 1,033 active wildfires scorching that country, 656 of them “out of control.” Consider that and then try to get your mind around a planet capable of producing such a phenomenon!

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