I recently re-read Brave New World, Huxley’s dystopian vision of a future in which humanity is managed to produce an optimum number of various classes to fulfill various functions. At the bottom are the Epsilons – capable of little more than serving as an elevator operator but programmed to be happy in that function.
Then this morning, I heard on NPR a snippet of a program. Climate change, it said, is projected to have the effect on the world's population of lowering life expectancy and intelligence—children’s brains don’t develop well in conditions like famine and pollution. (See Flint, Michigan. See also THIS article.)
And it occurred to me--perhaps those plutocrats who are pushing the horrific policies of the Republican Party—gutting environmental protections to boost corporate earnings--are playing the long game here, as surely as the managers of Huxley’s future poison the Epsilons in (artificial)utero to stunt their development.
Safe in their climate-controlled gilded towers, the plutocrats don’t fear the effects of climate change. Their children will always eat well. And if the masses grow slowly weaker and dumber and even more malleable, well, someone has to clean those gilded towers and service those air-conditioners. And Fox News can be relied upon to tell the masses how very happy they are, in this brave new world.