Climate change and the gom jabbar

Artistic bar lights

In Frank Herbert’s Dune, the protagonist is tested using a machine that “only kills animals.” His hand is placed in a box that simulates the appearance and sensation of having it horribly burned. He is told that he will be killed if he pulls the hand out. The test is to see whether he can overcome his primal reaction: whether he can exercise will over instinct and live. At least according to those who administer it, this is what distinguishes ‘humans’ from ‘animals.’

In some ways, climate change is like a Gom jabbar for all humanity. We are now aware of the needle threatening our collective lives. We know that continuing to act on the basis of instinct will lead to our doom. The question is whether we possess the fortitude to endure what is difficult, in order to avoid what is lethal.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

3 thoughts on “Climate change and the gom jabbar

  1. New Dune Movie Confirmed

    “Peter Berg will be directing a new big-budget Dune movie from Paramount. SFFMedia reports that ‘although there were some doubts that they were going to get it,’ the producers have secured the rights to the Dune novel from Frank Herbert’s estate and are looking for writers to provide a screenplay that is true to the original text. Can’t wait!”

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