Updated: May 8
Where’s Yul Brynner when you need him
I always liked the movie “The Magnificent Seven”. It’s about seven skilled gunslingers who rescue a poor Mexican village being menaced by banditos. Each of the seven had a specialty and each was lured into the venture with promises of reward. Of course, there was no reward, but in the end they did fight for and save the village (reluctantly) because it was the right thing to do.
Yul Brynner, who played Chris Adams, helps the villagers recruit the gunslingers and then decides to lead them. It is critical to the success of the mission. Without a strong leader, failure was certain.
Today’s existential threat from climate change and the banditos who perpetrated it may require another Magnificent Seven.
The threatened village, of course, is the global village it which we all live. The banditos are clearly the fossil fuel companies who, with their political minions, refuse to stem their destructive emissions. Under the guise of keeping the economy in tact, they have spent hundreds of millions spreading disinformation and confusion about what is happening. Let’s be clear, these are bad guys. They know what’s happening. They have for decades and they don’t care. They are profit driven. After all, profit stokes their off-shore back accounts. Even their share holders can’t shake their tree.
I used to think we could get them on board but even with the smoke screen of their so-called ‘green initiatives’ it ain’t happening. Don’t believe it for a minute. Read the press releases and watch their investments. The truth is hard to hide.
They do see the writing on the wall and the early signs of a massive divestment in fossil fuel stocks. However, instead of making any real commitment to renewable energy and emissions reductions they have decided to shift their resources to making more petroleum based plastics. They are building multi million dollar plastics plants in places like Pittsburgh.
The good news is that we have six Magnificents already signed up to stop them and are on the job.
Scientists – Hundreds of organizations, educational institutions and tens of thousands of scientists are working day and night to head off the problem. These are the ones who tell us what’s happening and how it can be fixed. They issue warning after warning. Their predictions are all coming true only faster than expected. The United Nations is the one global institution with the potential to organize them and disseminate their information. They work day and night despite our indifference.
Climate Activists – These are the people and organizations who have been fighting for years to combat climate change. They now include vast numbers of young people world-wide who are motivated and making their presence known. Their knives are sharp and they know how to throw them. Their ranks are growing the their voices getting louder.
Towns and Cities – Politics at the small level is still working. Mayors and city councils are making their own plans to create sustainable communities and the jobs that come with them.
Businesses and Corporations – Thousands of businesses large and small are greening up. Many are motivated by demand from consumers. Others understand the importance of being sustainable to our future.
Big Money – This is the slow one, the powerful one, the that is coming kicking and screaming to the rescue. That’s right big money; Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Swiss Re, Munich Re, BlackRock, and many more. Why? One word – Risk. They are finally seeing that climate change threatens everything. Certainly they are in it to protect their gold but at least they are jumping in and where the money goes everyone with power must follow.
Mother Nature: She carries the biggest weapon, catastrophe, and she knows how to use it. If you are in her way there is little doubt about what she is saying. She pounds the message home using heat, drought, floods and fire. No one can stop her. In the end she may be the only one that will bring humans to their senses. The question is, “how long will it take”? She doesn’t care but we had better.
These six are teaching the villagers to fight back. They are convincing them that the issue can’t be avoided and that they are a key part of the solution. Grass roots is where the power lies. When the polls move so do the politicians. When the consumer changes buying habits, products and services quickly follow suit. The majority now seems ready to learn and respond. All they need now is a strong leader to show the way.
But where is Yul Brynner when you need him. Where is the leader? Where is the motivator and organizer? Where is the one who can set national goals and marshal resources and see to the education of citizens. It’s near impossible to snuff out the threat without a strong leadership and its not to be found. Things could be moving so much faster. So where is he?
Someone said he is in bed with the banditos. That he is allowing them to release as much carbon as they want, drill and mine whenever and wherever, that he is allowing for the destruction of the environment; the treasured land, essential waters and the air we breathe.
Another claims to have seen him on a hill watching his country burn while lining his pockets with the black gold that coal provides him. He would not stop even in the face of destruction except that the citizens of Australia are standing in his way.
Others claim he is torching the rain forests, the ‘lungs of the earth’, and fostering methane producing agri business.
But I can assure you, none of these is Yul Brynner. The real Yul must be found and brought into the battle country by country. Who can find him or her? It’s up to the villagers. In the end we own the only weapon the banditos fear – the vote.