Killing each other
More news of the end of the world comes with confirmation that this terrible drought is actually related to global warming, despite continual denialism on the part of politically-motivated right-wingers (http://bit.ly/NpoijU).
Personal discomfort is what it takes to convince many Americans of provable facts, so the high temperatures have apparently tipped the scales for climate change belief among citizens -- only about 50 percent two years ago, but after breaking never-ending sweat, up to 70 percent of Americans now (http://bit.ly/QBBBsy). As with same sex marriage, the majority of people approve, but Republicans are still intent on telling us what is best for us.
Meanwhile, our neighbors to the north have a astonishingly decisive 98 percent acceptance level of climate change (http://bit.ly/QBBEEB). That may be partially because the northern borders of their country are some of the regions being most effected. Conservatives in Florida won’t take notice until their over-priced property in the Keys are flooded over.
Belief in the truth should be about more than being hot, though. Climate change is going to bring all sorts of other horribleness to our existence -- for instance, it’s recently been shown that parasites, like tapeworms, will become more virulent, making us sicker easier and longer. (http://reut.rs/PmYuod). Add that fact to the end of the world pile, I guess.
I personally think that diabetes denial can be a marker for clinical depression and the Salon article doesn’t dissuade me (nor, believe me, does personal experience). You don’t have to be a poor coal mining family to display the attitudes about diabetes that many of these people do -- a sense of hopelessness and inevitability in regard to the disease, sluggishness and defeatism when faced with the fight and often a disassociation from any personal responsibility.
Diabetes is a pretty ugly disease, as anyone who’s witnessed it firsthand can tell you. Failing kidneys, sores, amputations and, of course, a quick death, it’s all possible with diabetes. You ever seen someone who needed dialysis desperately but hasn’t had it yet? Ever seen how a person with a kidney transplant has to live?
Doing nothing to fight such a disease borders on Munchausen’s Syndrome.
Diabetes effects the economy as much as anything else -- witness reports this year that 10 percent of the British health system spending goes to diabetes and 80 percent of that is on amputations and other preventable maintenance (http://bit.ly/N3f7jc).
And diabetes spending is expected to grow to insane proportions in that country. No wonder our government is so afraid of a national health system -- they see what’s going on in England, look at the statistic in our own country and know pretty quickly where the money for that will be directed.
We in Massachusetts are supposed to take heart in recent statistics (http://b.globe.com/MZR1M0) that show our state has the third lowest obesity rate in the country, but at 22.7 percent, that’s still not great, and it’s believed that number isn’t correct, that the percentage is higher.
Add to that the national rate -- only one-third of Americans are considered to be at a healthy weight -- and the fact that Americans now are far less likely to count themselves as overweight than they were two decades ago. Why is that? Because the median has shifted enough to the heavy side that there’s a new normal.
It’s become a race to see how it all falls apart -- will our surroundings kill us, or will our bodies? Will we be like the dinosaurs or the Neanderthals? Will whatever creature that dominates the earth in a million years unearth evidence that its previous residents -- us -- died off corpulent and dehydrated?
John Seven is the Transcript’s arts and entertainment editor.