There is a lot going on in the world. We have lost so much of the world’s forests that reforestation as it exists won’t work. Antarctica is melting, and will continue to melt no matter what we do. There is a garbage patch in the Pacific the size of a country, and the estimate for cleaning it up varies wildly from 5 years to 79,000 years. The estimated number of how many creatures have gone extinct is measured in the tens of thousands. Heat records are being broken every year all across the world. And we are told that if the ocean’s average temperature increases by 2 degrees Celsius the damage to the planet will be irreversible. But all we need to do is roll up our shirt sleeves and pitch in, right?
I have some bad news, dear reader.
We can’t stop climate change.
I’m aware that the language has been ‘We have until 2030’ and there are scenarios where we could, in fact, slow the descent and eventually reverse it. But the changes that we would need to make in order for any of those to happen would be immense. Scientists have had evidence of the dangers of climate change for decades, and there are still politicians who refuse to do anything about it. We would need, in the next ten years, to have an upheaval of human society unlike anything that has ever happened in order to make the necessary changes. There would need to be enthusiastic and impactful changes at every level of every society in every country in order to prevent it, and the fact that we have leaders in our own state that refuse to take the issue seriously should be enough to make you realize that we will miss that 2030 mark.
So, why bother?
If you don’t care about strangers, you wouldn’t bother- but then, you also probably wouldn’t be reading this blog. For those of us who care on an intrinsic level for our fellow man, this is the most important time to start trying to make changes. Whatever happens, I am confident that the ingenuity and sheer stubbornness of the human race will see us through as a species. And those of us who are alive here, now, will help determine the future for that species. There is no way to know for certain what that will look like no matter our choices, it’s true. But there are some pretty straightforward causes and effects- If you want the human race to have drinking water in the future, fight to protect our water now. If you want them to know the same range of animals we know now, fight to preserve them and prevent as many extinctions as possible. And if you want a world where the air is easy to breathe, even if we know for certain rising water levels will change the face of the planet forever, we can still fight against big oil and create that future for our progeny that we will never see for ourselves
Climate Change is not preventable. We won’t be able to go back to the way things were, ever. We can, however, control what kind of ‘new’ the world becomes after Climate Change ravages the planet. And I, for one, choose a world where my great great grandchildren know cleaner air than I do, cleaner water than I have, and can enjoy a slowly re-balancing ecosystem that thrives.