This is not a climate change blog. It’s a website dedicated to discussing any issue that catches my attention, whilst also providing an outlet to share travel and short stories. For all my complaining, it’s fun. But I have noticed these past few updates rather obsessing over the climate change topic. Part of that has been the erosion of my climate optimism.
I’ve harboured a deep affection for the natural world my entire life. Fauna, more than flora, but my love for the environment has evolved with age into appreciating landscape vistas alongside the raw majesty of the animal kingdom. A keener sense of anguish has also developed.
It’s become an impossible question to avoid. How long will we all live for? That seems to be the harsh reality. By current climate change predictions, the human race will implode. Extreme global warming and volatile weather events grab headlines, as they should, but don’t even encompass the plethora of detriments we will all suffer together. Unnatural heat has this past summer destroyed harvests across the world and incited wildfires, an unnerving premonition of potential famines. Sea level rises are set to drown settlements, even countries potentially. And I recently discovered the malaria parasite breeds ten times faster each centigrade degree it grows warmer. Western nations might finally pay it due attention.
Of course, the most worrying feature of these facts is how widely available they are. It’s common knowledge. Most, excluding a misguiding minority, accept climate change. The scale of destruction is so unfathomable we might struggle to comprehend it, but climate change is real, it’s here, and it’s bad.
If Cop26 is any indication, the human race has literally zero chance. Every report hints at an unravelling disaster. The UK might become a brief political laughing-stock (on a global scale, the government embarrasses itself daily to us), but that isn’t the problem. Change has to be made now.
Let’s not forget Alok Sharma, Cop26 President, flew to thirty different countries in a seven-month period to prepare for the conference. Rishi Sunak just implemented a de facto incentive towards domestic flights over greener options like train travel, and Boris Johnson doesn’t believe in recycling.
More tedious to me on a personal level were the blundering attempts by our royal family to mediate. Surely hypocrisy reached its heights when the Queen complained about those who say, but don’t do. The same woman whose lawyers secretly lobbied for her Scottish properties to receive exemption from new environmental standards. It’s literally one rule for her and another for the rest of the country.
Billionaires in possession of enough resources to make a significant contribution without denting their own hoarded fortunes instead obsess over space travel. Suspended in arrested development, they’re playing out every ten-year-olds fantasy of becoming an astronaut whilst the planet burns.
“Everybody in the world needs to see this… it was unbelievable.”William Shatner
It’s unbelievable how dense certain individuals can be.
The most infuriating sensation of all is helpless impotence. I turn the lights off when I leave a room. I wear jumpers in winter as opposed to turning the heating up. I avoid driving wherever possible. China, already contributing 28% of the world’s CO2 emissions, is planning boom in coal power stations, whilst President Xi has no plans to attend Cop26. The US government just fought through a bill including vital climate proposals, opposed at every instance by Joe Manchin, whose largest donors are in fossil fuels and who himself founded a coal brokerage firm.
Ultimately, there can be no climate change optimism since it just doesn’t matter to the most relevant power brokers. We live in a terrible society drastically skewing influenced towards a centralised, selfish few whose interests revolve around economics. There are too many distractions, which will presumably feel rather juvenile as the earth begins to crumble.
What’s most frustrating about climate change is that cooperation should be guaranteed. It’s a global cause. It should literally be the thing we can all rally behind, whatever our differences. It’s starting to feel more and more like this week might be our last chance at hope.
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