With the death of Roger Ailes, I find myself pondering, once again, the legacy of those people who have spent so much time and effort on bringing about the horrors of an unstable, warming climate.
On the one hand, it feels like the default for people who treasure fame and who make the world worse, should be erasure. Forgetting their names, their existences, and their so-called legacies would be very satisfying, if I had some assurance that they were somehow aware that after their lifetime of fame and fortune, the question most associated with their names was, “who?”
But given the amount of damage that has been done, and that will be done for thousands – even hundreds of thousands of years into the future, obscurity doesn’t seem right. Future generations should remember Ailes and his ilk, as we remember other perpetrators of crimes against humanity. Future generations should know their names, and every detail of their crimes.
Somewhere, wrapped in sweltering heat and the stench of decay, their names should be carved in stone, with a record of how they brought about the flooded cities, and parched landscapes, and the miserable death by heat, starvation, and disease of countless millions, all for the sake of their own fame and fortune, and a feeling of superiority. They should be used as a warning of who to watch out for as we try to weather conditions our species has never faced before.
People like Ailes made it happen, and people like Ailes will make it worse every step of the way. They will try to kill those seeking refuge from the dangers they created. They will rant about the expense of feeding the hungry, curing the sick, and any other attempt at building a better world.
So in the end I say remember Ailes, and remember his legacy, and maybe we’ll learn to prevent people like him from doing this much damage in the future.