Getting Good and Scared, by John Ostrander

John Ostrander

John Ostrander started his career as a professional writer as a playwright. His best known effort, Bloody Bess, was directed by Stuart Gordon, and starred Dennis Franz, Joe Mantegna, William J. Norris, Meshach Taylor and Joe Mantegna. He has written some of the most important influential comic books of the past 25 years, including Batman, The Spectre, Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Suicide Squad, Wasteland, X-Men, and The Punisher, as well as Star Wars comics for Dark Horse. New episodes of his creator-owned series, GrimJack, which was first published by First Comics in the 1980s, appear every week on ComicMix.

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3 Responses

  1. R. Maheras says:

    Projecting the future is a hazardous business, but you've hit on some great points. It's obvious to me that the status quo, i.e., an economy based on oil dependence, continued development in areas with no indigenous water sources, and aggressively sustaining a presence in areas that are at or below the current sea level, is foolish in the long term.I think the majority of people understand why oil dependence is a losing proposition, so it's imperative for Congress and the president to quickly develop a much more aggressive policy towards weaning ourselves from oil.On the other hand, regarding the rising sea level, I just shake my head at those who blame industrialization for the problem. Most people don't realize it, but the fact is, any paleo-climatologist can tell you that oceans have risen continuously — more than 300 feet — in the past 20,000 years. So unless we enter a new Ice Age, places like New Orleans and the Netherlands were never going to win a long-term battle with the sea. And while I think we should continue striving to clean up our air simply for health reasons, anyone who tells you we should be reducing carbon emissions to keep the sea levels from rising is full of hot air (pun intended).I think you’re right about water shortages — that will be a huge problem worldwide in the coming decades. Perhaps an aggressive desalinization effort can take all that extra seawater we’ll be staring at soon, convert it to fresh water, and then pipe it inland?Other problems not mentioned that worry me are nuclear proliferation, pandemics and mega-natural disasters such as super volcanoes, mega-quakes (and the tsunamis that sometimes accompany them) and extraterrestrial object impacts.With all these possible problems, we need, more than ever, leaders with vision. Unfortunately, none of the presidential candidates, and few people in Congress, seem to have that quality, in my opinion. Does that mean we’re doomed? Not necessarily. What it means is we, as a society, will just have to find a way to muddle along on our own — sort of like the tail wagging the dog.

    • Alan Coil says:

      "…any paleo-climatologist can tell you that oceans have risen continuously — more than 300 feet — in the past 20,000 years…"—–300 feet divided by 20,000 years = 0.015 feet per year. Multiply that by 100 years and you get 1.5 feet. Yet it is projected that if all the ice packs continue to melt, the ocean will rise between 8 and 20 feet in the next century. Obviously, something has changed from past patterns.Those who deny global warming can do so as they please, but there isn't any denying that something has changed drastically.A better term for global warming is catastrophic climate change. That this is happening cannot be denied. Massive floods, massive droughts, heat waves that kill…all these are evidence.

  2. R. Maheras says:

    C'mon, Alan. The sea level increases over the past 20,000 years have not been linear, so your "average" is meaningless unless put into some sort of context. If you examine the data, there have been periods in the past where the sea levels have risen rapidly, and others where the levels have risen slowly. Considering we appear to have just exited a mini-Ice Age, a more rapid rise may have been in the cards anyway. Keep in mind that there has been no significant sea-level reduction at all during the past 20,000 years. The rise has been an inexorable one — with or without man's puny presence.