It lurks in the background, big, incomprehensible, undefeatable. A gnawing fear that we joke about, sometimes talk about, and generally feel that someone aught to do something about. THEY should make a law, a treaty, impose sanctions, etc. THEY should stop the polluters, clean-up the waste, and give us new, endless, cheap, green energy. THEY should…
Except there is no THEY. You can’t reach out and touch the cause, point to the culprit, or make a law that will fix things. It couldn’t even be done with something as simple and straight forward as DDT. Yes, it has been ban many places, but it is still used daily in parts of the world (just not in my back yard!) The real problem in the whole climate change issue is me (and you). Climate change is happening, not because of Mega Corp secretly dumping toxins into the world, but because of the thousands of little decisions you and I make every day. We know what is causing climate change - increases in atmospheric carbon. We know where the carbon comes from - carbon deposits that have been out of the system for millions of years. We dig it up, burn it (or transform it into various products) give it a central role in our lives. If we want to stop climate change we have to stop adding more new carbon to the system. Just stop. It isn’t something you can trade for the privilege of doing. It isn’t something that can be reduced by planting more trees, or burying it in the dirt. WE JUST HAVE TO STOP ADDING MORE. It can’t be done with legislation or treaties. It can’t be done with sanctions or programs. THEY can’t do it. YOU and I have to do it. We have to make choices every day that don’t add new carbon to the system. That means each of us has to actively work on eliminating fossil fuel and products made from fossil fuel from our lives. When we start doing that the world will change. It’s not about tweaking the system, making it more efficient or greener. It is about finding ways to STOP using. Kind of like joining AA for fossil fuel addicts. Every day, every choice we make must be moving us toward eliminating fossil fuel from our lives.
Choosing to wait for THEM to do something is choosing to do nothing. The world wont end if we do nothing. It worked just fine when all this buried carbon was actively part of the system. It will continue to work fine into the future. We weren’t part of the world then, and we will probably find it uncomfortable (maybe fatally so) in the future.
The time for talking is done. It is time to act.
I've also posted about backyard gardens as a force in halting climate change. You can see that post on NDIN. And my daughter JJ posted her thoughts here, A Childs View.