Armageddon and You
Global Warming. The term has reached a pivotal point in its existence as an –ism, a state wherein people are finally ready to make an informed decision on what it means vis-à-vis their lives. For many years, this ominous phrase has lived in a tug-of-war between two political camps, and could not exist outside this framework. As is often the case with hot-button issues, quite a lot of money was put into framing it in various lights, and following the pattern of history, ‘the people’ have proved to be more right about the issue than ‘The Man.’
Now, at last, in the past two years, some heavy facts are coming into the public conscience without the usual blockade of crap from the opposing side (The Man) to muddy the waters, if you will, on what it really means. We are starting to hear that without a doubt, things are going to change – or wait, maybe they’re already changing.
What happens next? Is this the next Live Aid? Will we see a massive wave of interest, followed by an even bigger wave of apathy? “I paid my guilty conscience to go away,” said Living Colour of this phenomenon. No, in this case, it will not be out of sight. Not even close.
Can you feel it yet, where you are? Are you having one of the coldest winters in history? How about one of the warmest? How about snow in Malibu? How about a tornado in London? It’s here, baby, it’s here.
So again: what happens next? This is perhaps the most crucial time we will face – and I can honestly say this without hyperbole – in the history of our existence on this spinning rock. How many truly global crises have we faced heretofore? The Cold War, I’d say, and that’s about it; there have been other threats (Black Plague, SARS, maybe even the Avian Flu), but none has come to such a head that annihilation was imminent. Even if the Black Plague had managed to wipe out Europe, and even Asia, that would have still left quite a decent human population floating around. In the cases of nuclear armageddon or an escalated climate shift, we would be looking at large portions of the planet being uninhabitable, perhaps even the great majority of it.
I don’t know about you, but that’s about the most frightening thought I can conjure up in the most base places in my mind. To most sane people, that should be a tad scarier than the prospect of your corporation’s stock falling 8 percentage points on the NYSE. I don’t really care to wonder how these multinational conglomerate board members get to sleep at night, I want to know what is being done to at least start to change things.
And it starts now, with a fragile pair of words that has been enshrouded in ambiguity of conspiracy theory for years. How do you feel about it? It won’t be enough to just care, this time. It won’t be enough to change one habit – recycle cans, for once/carpool twice a week/support an organic food operation/et cetera – it will take all of us doing a lot more than it may seem we must.
Because, I don’t mean to put the fear of Zeus into you, but we’re past the point of fixing it. The effects are already starting, and there’s nothing we can do about that. What we can do is stem the tide of this thing, and try to suffer less. Things are going to get uncomfortable for the next few decades, but depending on how you feel about Global Warming today – today, mankind may be around to see the next century.
This isn’t a disaster movie. This is life. Get to work.
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