My rant on the boondoggle of repeating the same behaviour of not caring for, then trying to correct environmental damage…
We need to stop using sentences like “Climate change is real.”
It isn’t unreal.
We as a society have been stuck in key words around this issue like “climate change” and “green house gas emissions” and “renewable resources.” This conversation has been going on for more than twenty or thirty years- why haven’t the verbs changed? If values change over time, why not the accompanying words? Or actions?
Oceans are becoming more acidic, bleaching coral reefs. Climatic regions once associated with milder, more temperate climates are experiencing heat waves. Sea levels are rising, displacing millions. Wild fires are creating refugees and homelessness. Droughts in developed areas are occurring on a yearly basis. El Ñino and La Ñina are prime examples of this – warmer ocean currents wreaking havoc on our weather systems, and in turn, creating stronger, more devastating storms. Polar bears are drowning because they have never before had to swim so far for their food. Why are they swimming should be the question on your mind. If it isn’t, take a look at the melting ice caps in the Arctic. The Inuit had to invent a word for “Robin” because northern climes have warmed up so much that Robins now fly that far north. The “Great White North” will eventually become the Northern Tropics if we are not prudent.
How many more people have to die or become displaced for people to understand that this “climate change thing” is real?? Jump on the bandwagons people – the mother ship has left you and it ain’t comin’ back!
It’s time to change the conversation and ask the real questions of why does it cost Northern, Developed nations so much to use solar power, when most of the entire CONTINENT of Africa has is making efficient use of it? If someone can pay the (almost) equivalent amount of one dollar to have his/her mobile phone charged in Kenya, using solar cells to generate electric recharging, then why can’t Canada and the U.S and the U.K and other developed nations figure it out? Let’s start asking our companies why an effective and economical solution can’t be found. Let’s start asking who put the “Nay-Sayers” and “climate change critics” in charge? It’s time for the pundits to stop saying “agree to disagree.” Perhaps it’s time to stop talking and plant a few trees!
Let’s ask the experts how many kick backs they get from their associated businesses. Let’s take a real look at the auto industry. Who was it that really “killed the electric car?” Who benefits the most from coal/oil/gas deals? Why did it take so long for low-emission light bulbs to become the industry norm? Why won’t certain countries enact said light bulbs into industry code? Why won’t certain countries recycle their paper waste? Why won’t certain governments stop drilling in the Arctic? Money is not a renewable resource either. Deforestation is devastating vast areas of our beautiful globe. The lack of trees is displacing wildlife, and causing droughts and in some cases, serious floods. The Amazon basin is suffering. We need trees to filter the carbon dioxide we create. Oxygen is a requirement for human life. Did anyone forget about the hole in the Ozone layer? We still have that you know…
We have our priorities wrong. If there were real political will behind this issue, then it wouldn’t have taken 195 countries until 2015 to sign a deal like the Paris Agreement. It wouldn’t have taken a historic meeting of the “Three Amigos” until 2016 to shine yet another light on this urgent issue.
This matters because if a poor, under developed country like Kenya, and most states within Africa, can figure out how to use Solar power to their benefit, especially for people living on less than $20.00 a day, then why the heck can’t we? I don’t understand this. Don’t tell me we don’t have enough sun or that we don’t have the technology for storage or that storage is expensive. Go back to the top of this page and read everything again.
This matters because there are too many countries in which charcoal is burned openly on the roadsides, deforestation resulting from the homeless/displaced burning wood for cooking fuel, land fills the size of small mountains are being burnt because there are no other viable solutions. There are too many countries drilling in precious ocean environments, and far too much research/development being done on fracking. Far too many companies are pumping far too many noxious chemicals into the atmosphere.
We have known for some time that coal, oil and gas are not renewable resources. We have known that invariably, they will undoubtedly run out. We have passed that point. We’ve gone passed the point at which we need to build cars that run on vegetables, or some weird variation thereof. We need to take the brilliant energy of the sun, of the wind, of the oceans and use it to our benefit, without leaving the poor and the middle class behind. And we need to do this without emptying the oceans of the precious life contained therein. We need to sit with our Aboriginal Peoples and take a lesson in caring for the earth. Why are we not harvesting rain water so that when drought occurs we are not in dire straits? More of us need to have meatless Mondays and Tofu Tuesdays. Turn off your televisions and your computer screens for two hours every week. And for God’s sake, participate in Earth Hour every year!
Let’s put money into research and development so our students and our environmental engineers can figure out how best to create storage solutions for tidal/solar/wind power. Let’s enact, and then follow through on considerably tougher legislation that punishes corporations for oil spills and environmental damage. If money is so important, let’s pass some laws that inflict punitive damage in the form of hefty sums from the companies willfully neglecting the surrounding environment. Let’s create such a strength in Environmental Law that companies and corporations will think thrice before attempting to bury leaky barrels of hazardous waste near groundwater. Or not inspect drilling sites prior to drilling underwater.
There does not ever need to be a compromise between saving our planet and building a healthy and productive economy.
And yes, while it is true that “Nature repairs her ravages,” (George Elliot) this is not a situation which has been created by mother nature. We did this. We silly, selfish, consumerist, materially obsessed people did this. And we need to fix this. Now. Right Now.
Let’s not wait for another major conference to “get it.” Change the verbiage. This is no longer about climate change. It’s about the successful survival of life on Planet Earth.