In the theater, performers cause the audience to become so immersed in the fiction they portray that the audience suspends its disbelief, however briefly. This is important in coming to grips with a critical constituent of climate change — the illusion of abundance. This is not the first tragedy wherein some hapless person lives with the illusion that everything is fine only to be suddenly crushed.
The world was long been dominated by Asian kingdoms in matters of art, science, medicine, literature, governance and civic virtue when, suddenly, a dirty, ignorant little backwater of the globe, now the Western World, spurted to power, conquest and global dominance. How possible? By the exploitation of a single, filthy four-letter word — COAL! This lethal energy source created the first suspension of disbelief concerning the subsequent, relentless exploitation of nature by humans. It created the illusion of abundance so powerful that millions wrongly thought that convenience, comfort and imagined security were permanent facets of the play.
This unfortunate illusion is now revealed as the concealing curtain is ripped back by the science and the utter falsity of the illusion is exposed. This vast abundance, so recently conjured, is pure illusion based on the human folly of believing that the resources of the Earth are inexhaustible. More ominously, coal (and its toxic siblings) also gave rise to Carbon Capitalism and its hand-maiden Consumerism, which have inflated the illusory soap-bubble of abundance to its present destructive level.
This illusion of abundance not only comes at a price of global ravishment of the climate, it also costs billions of humans the quality of their lives, an irony which is even now seeping under the costly windowsills of those who profit the most from their climate calumny. Maintaining this illusion now takes the form of inflating that soap-bubble to ever-increasing volumes by the sheer power of carbon fuels and the greed which propels the effort. But those very fuels are inexorably destroying our only habitat.
This bubble is about to explode under the unyielding laws of physics as we continue to ignore the warning signs now all around us. Tragically, this is reality and there is no chariot from a Sun God speeding to our rescue. Gandalf is not rising from the dead to our rescue. We are alone in this. We must act.