Scientists have been wrong about their predictions. No, i am not a climate change denier: They have been wrong in the other directions as the deniers claim. Things are worse than the climate experts predicted. There are feedback loops at play that no one could have guessed worked quite the way they do. Temperatures are rising faster. Sandy was just the beginning of more severe weather.
And we go on living as usual. Sure, maybe we’ll buy a hybrid car to do all our driving with. Or, like me, we get rid of our car altogether – only to get rides from others to go to far away events (i.e., still going further than is healthy for the planet).
Are we just totally, utterly immoral? I think we’re just being human. It is very difficult to comprehend a danger that is as multifaceted as climate change. Climate disruption is not a saber tooth tiger in front of us. It is happening almost invisibly (unless you connect the dots, which requires effort). It is happening at a larger scale than we can wrap our minds around. It’s much more concrete to think about when i’ll do laundry or wash my car. That’s something i feel i have control over.
When i reach this deep level of despair and hopelessness, i can sense some acceptance. Maybe we are headed toward extinction because we didn’t evolve to deal with something like climate change. We can figure out how to use tools to enhance our lives. We see the benefits immediately. The costs are not as obvious, so it’s difficult for us to see and act on them. We didn’t evolve for that.
Though maybe those of us who do see the dire picture, at least some of it, can figure out a way to make change more fun. Right now, living sustainably implies to most people making big sacrifices. While i live without a tv, i have been very hesitant to move into more communal living – dreading how that might impact my solitude cravings. And maybe, it’s also more of a matter of preparing for the inevitable by spreading what we do know about living sustainable and nourishing lives. I don’t know. What i do is that business as usual won’t get us anywhere other than over the brink…