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-Ã -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
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
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.