Mort Report is a labor of love by old-style correspondents with lifetimes on the road and young ones with fresh eyes. Our philosophy is simple: we report at first hand with analysis based on non-alternative fact, not opinion. If we get something wrong, we fix it.
“Sometimes it seems as if I’ve banged out a trillion words over the last half-century in news dispatches, books and assorted screeds. None, I believe, are more important than these.”
PARIS – Let's be clear before it is too late. Any government leader or corporate executive who flouts irrefutable evidence of climatic shifts is complicit in murdering the human race.
Nobel laureate Paul Krugman called willful denial of climate change “depravity” in a New York Times essay on heedless greed and hubris. That's not the half of it.
Bill McKibben, in The New Yorker, outlined in devastating detail what he has watched closely since sounding the alarm 30 years ago. Yet as fire, flood and famine steadily worsen toward Endgame, the world dithers.
“It's now reasonable to ask,” he wrote, “whether the human game has begun to falter - perhaps even to play itself out.”
As people obsessed on a flash of street mayhem in Paris, few noticed wise old David Attenborough speak gravely in Poland: “If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
Crocodiles and cockroaches will survive as temperatures rise, but humans will be among the first to go. When? Does it matter?
WILD OLIVES, France – As Donald Trump skulked home on Armistice Day after letting the world know what he thinks of it, Tom Wolfe came to mind. Remember “The Bonfire of the Vanities”? A Wall Street master of the universe gets lost in the Bronx and bumps hard against reality.
Unlike that chastened bond trader, Trump neither reflects nor regrets. Back in Washington, he flipped European allies the finger. France, he tweeted, would have lost both world wars were it not for America’s military. Possibly true. But the United States would also be speaking German.
An isolationist America waited each time until no other choice remained. Imagine if it had confronted Hitler at the outset. The earlier “Great War” mushroomed out of control, a failure of despots and diplomats. Along with those 116,516 Americans, it killed 17 million Europeans.
Today, the big picture is clear. A vainglorious fool focused on money alone, telling patent lies that feed the ignorant fears of one sector of American society, imperils an entire planet.
China plays dirty. But head-on public attack spurs Xi Jinping to fortify his military, block sea lanes and seek monopolies on raw materials and strategic metals. Russia is a foe, but Vladimir Putin’s arrival sparked a shit-eating grin from Trump as he sat sourly among friends in Paris.
In North Korea, Trump jabbed a sharp stick into a hornet’s nest, then elevated Kim Jong-un to a coveted place on the world stage. Kim, now madder than ever because of sanctions, is still building nukes. Trump is awaiting his Nobel Peace Prize.