Monday, 31 January 2011

Climate Change

The third of @formulaic666 and I's relaunch of Crossblogination then and we're confronting 'Climate Change'.  You can go see what Paul thinks here
Where I sit on Climate Change is pretty much defined by who I am as a person I suppose.  The geek in me looks at the facts, the evidence right before our eyes and says, 'Yep, something is going wrong.  Badly wrong.'  And I do like facts, although the waters are muddied here, dirtied by Governments and Environmentalists with their own agendas.  Me, I look at the polar caps retreating at a rate of knots and wonder how high the sea levels will have to rise before anyone gives a shit.

The trouble is our weather seems as unpredictable as ever, we've had as much snow in the last few years as we seemed to get back in the 1970's, but that's here in the UK.  It's so easy to get blinded to what our emissions (and those from other countries) are actually doing to our climate.

And for me it's about legacy.  Like anything we do in life, our behaviour, the example we set to the next generation influences firstly the world we leave them and secondly how they'll treat it.  I look around and feel that because everything is driven by the market the biggest way capitalism has failed is in how we view the planet.  That no matter how many times we're able to see pictures showing how fragile we are from space we still see it as something to consume and abuse.

Just like we do everything.

That might seem cynical but what government is strong enough to put the planets well being in front of votes.  Before employment figures and a growing national debt.  What actually has to happen before a country stands up and starts leading the way forward?  London flooding?  The Thames poring over the flood barrier and the underground rivers beneath the capital rising up and destroying so many centuries of history?  Thousands dead and homeless in a first world country?  Or will the world shrug collectively?

We've all sat and watched Australia's recent floods and who hasn't thought, 'Fuck, that's the climate....'?  But then you read and hear that they've had terrible floods in that part of the world before and that helps to dissipate the concern.  Hundreds die in mudslides in Brazil, but that happens every year right?  We're so desensitised to disasters of any description that it truly seems to take something of a ridiculous magnitude to shock us.  The Boxing Day Tsunami did it.  The Twin Towers did it.  Made the world stop and think and question itself or show a genuine out pouring of emotion and altruism.

And that's the trouble.  Climate Change is happening but it's like watching a Plasma TV picture slowly fade over years of use.  It's imperceptible for the most part, we can't look up in the sky and see a hole in the ozone layer.  I wish we could.  I wish we would all wake up to what we're doing.

At some point something huge will happen.  And the world will watch, jaws slack as somewhere gets lost because of the years of abuse we've heaped on The Earth.  It'll take that to wake us all up.  Me included.