Even though we don’t really know what will happen, it is clear already that climate disruption will be, well, disruptive. Like Sandy. Like the droughts, the storms, the “weird” weather. How these changing weather patterns will impact us humans remains to be seen. One thing seems to be clear, though: If we want to keep the Earth from becoming an inhospitable place for human beings (never mind other species), we need to change our ways.
That’s the other reason I’ve been mulling this post over. Exactly what does that mean? There are lots of lists out there already. Lots of organizations working toward climate solutions (including the EPA). All these lists haven’t helped. CO2 levels continue to increase, in fact, they’re increasing at a faster clip. Changing lightbulbs is obviously not enough. Switching to a differently powered car is obviously not enough. We need more radical changes.
While I believe that we can really only address our climate disturbance contributions by making some systemic changes, there are things we can do as individuals. And of course, if enough of us make personal changes, the system will change as well – at least if we stop applying bandaids and make more fundamental changes. What can we do then? Of course, we can use those lists as a start and then add more actions to that. So buy local, walk more, and turn off your vampire electronics. More radical things involve bigger changes: Move to a smaller place, share your house, sell your car, grow your own food, don’t have children. Basically, don’t shift your consumption to greener things because that’s still consuming; instead stop consuming as much as you can. (And yes, that’s a huge challenge!)
Ultimately, reducing climate disruption will require that we live differently: In smaller places with less people and without jobs that require us to go elsewhere. It might be a bit of a return to the past. Who knows. Again, what is clear is that change is needed. Deep changes. Radical changes.