Paul Scofield, who won an Academy award playing Sir Thomas More in one of my favorite movies, died this week. Scofield was brilliant as More, “the ultimate man of conscience.” The movie title comes from a 1520 description:
“More is a man of an angel’s wit and singular learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, lowliness and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of marvelous mirth and pastimes, and sometime of as sad gravity. A man for all seasons.”
President Bush is, obviously, no More. He is much, much less. He is a man for no seasons — literally. If we end up with atmospheric CO2 concentrations above 800 ppm, then Bush will deserve a great deal of
blame credit. In such a harsh world, all the seasons will merge into one, or rather none. American Heritage provides the origin of the word “season”:
Well, the planet won’t be doing bloody much planting if Bush and the delayers have their way. As a 2006 Hadley Center study concluded, if we continue unrestrained greenhouse gas emissions: “One third of the planet will be desert by the year 2100” and half the planet will experience moderate drought.
Not many seasons in the desert. Thomas More, of course, wrote Utopia — indeed, he coined that term. Bush and the delayers are trying to write a very different story, titled Dystopia. We must not let them succeed.