More and more people from all sides of politics are feeling anxious about the really serious science of Human Induced Climate Change. And more and more people are taking action. Could 2019 be the year when we see large scale state of emergency changes being made? The year where finally really significant policies are designed and implemented to redirect resources towards this impending doom. This year I think I am going to be talking a lot about it. A lot more than ever. After taking a bit of a break (because I felt so extremely raw from the seriousness of it and from seeing how many people were still not engaged) but this year I need to talk about it a great deal once more. At every opportunity I will talk about it. At the local market, party, dance gathering, during breakfast or afternoon tea, with people I know and with people I have just met.
I can’t wait for that tipping point, that moment when most of us, together, united and with conviction, move towards this one goal: eliminating carbon from our daily lives. When 100% of our electricity will be sourced from renewables of every kind, when cars will no longer emit emissions, and large scale, massive, never experienced before reforestation occurs because…
economic rationalism is literally killing us. We have for so long used economic arguments for not taking action: it’s too costly. How many of us would sell our homes and all our assets if money could buy us a cure for cancer? And why would we do this? Because we get it. We understand that cancer needs treatment, needs action in order for us to keep living. Is this the year when most of us will see that climate change is a silent cancer that needs urgent action, that needs every resource possible to try and reduce its impacts on our lives. Cancer does not discriminate and neither does a changing climate. No amount of money will protect us during a heat wave because electricity services often shut down during heat waves and air conditioners rely on the grid to work. Agriculture can’t flourish on diminished rain and food damaged by the sun. Rivers will not run when too little water is absorbed by their catchments. Urban living with its high thermal mass developments will become more and more difficult as heat waves increase overnight temperatures.
I think so many of us are willing to do what it takes, most of us are doing something, and want to do more but we need collective support. We need access to roads designed for cyclists, we need infrastructure services that support zero carbon transport, we need markets that stop selling landfill products, we need farmers that engage deeply with ecology and agribusinesses, powerful groups like Monsanto to get it. To really, really get it. To understand that their business model is literally causing the end of life as we know it. We need engineers that can design modular electric vehicles that scale up or down according to need, we need architects and town planners to design homes and cities that are built on ecological and passive design principles. We need forestry that understands that we can’t afford to make paper from trees and waste management that enforce biomimicry/biodegradability laws on all products made.
I understand that for some people the concept/science is too surreal to be true and I understand that for some it might appear like an exaggeration. Scientists have tried so hard to explain it to us and yet some would treat them as evangelical doomsdayers. I understand that it’s taking us far too long to collectively engage deeply with this issue. That in every meeting where important decision can be made there will be those who get it and those who don’t. And that one powerful person can achieve a great deal to help solve our problems but the wrong powerful person can dismantle our chance of a future on this planet.
As we have always had extreme weather events some of us think that the scientist must have it wrong. But the reason why climate scientist have labelled it Human Induced, is because they are all too aware that globally we have always had extreme weather events, but now due to our relentless release of carbon, from soils (agriculture), mining, deforestation, electricity production, transport etc we are making those extremes even more extreme.
We have known since 1896 that we have the power to change our climate. “Sweden’s Svante Arrhenius was the first to use basic principles of physical chemistry to calculate estimates of the extent to which increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) would increase Earth’s surface temperature through the greenhouse effect. These calculations led him to conclude that human-caused CO2 emissions, from fossil-fuel burning and other combustion processes, are large enough to cause global warming. This conclusion has been extensively tested, winning a place at the core of modern climate science. (Wikipedia 4/02/2019). And yet there are groups like The Heartland Institute https://www.heartland.org who are doing everything they can to convince us that business as usual is what we should be committed to. If this issue were not so serious, I might have found their videos funny.
I am sharing this because I want to be part of the solution, and yet am so far from it. I am sharing this because I want to encourage you all to talk about this issue with others, with family and friends and people you have just met.
Because without change, I wonder how much longer I will be able to sustain a garden, grow my own food and live in this very beautiful, wonderful, life enriching place I call home.