Wednesday, 1 July 2009

A rant on global warming

Is it just me or is there an elephant in the room?  It strikes me that of late we've started to ignore the big issue; that collectively as a species we've managed to take one giant dump in our own back yard and make our only home uninhabitable.

We've decided instead to preoccupy ourselves with the economic downturn, politicians expenses, or if the death of a pop star is the real end of our world.  Don't get me wrong, these issues are important to a lot of us, and some would say that even if we get to grips with global warming some big fat rock in the cosmos will, one day soon, kick our little blue marble into touch anyway.

If you haven't yet seen the aptly named movie "The Age Of Stupid", then I strongly suggest you give it a viewing.  It reckons we've now got about seven years to start to turn things around.  Seven years!  Just how long is that in our perception of time?  Remember the Y2K-bug scare?  Well, that was ten years ago.  How about nine eleven?  Seven years ago.  So, some optimist somewhere thinks that in seven years we'll be able to stop guzzling 80 million barrels of oil a day, cease domestic flying, grow our own food and make the kids walk the 200 yards to school.  Mmmmm, let me think.  Will that happen?

On 5 December this year I plan to join the march in Glasgow, as many will at other cities around the world, to show my concern over the climate issue.  On this day our governments will meet in Copenhagen for critical climate talks, where they will try to make commitments to doing something radical toward reducing our polluting ways.  I hope they succeed.  I really do.  That's why I'm joining the march to show my concern and support.  Up to now I've merely "done my bit", and will continue to do so.  I've never "marched" before though.  But this issue demands us all to do things we've never done before.

But I'm a tad skeptical.

In the early nineties General Motors introduced an amazing new electric car called the Evo.  You couldn't buy it, you could only lease it.  It was literally an overnight success.  Big mileage, good looks and no more expensive petrol or parts to buy.  Within two years General Motors recalled them all and scrapped every last one.  Oh sorry, one remains.  In a museum in California.  But they took the engine out and destroyed it!

The biggest hurdle of any change on this issue is that it is not those of us alive today that will see the benefit.  It's the future generations.  We need to accept that we have to make a great deal of sacrifices and not reap the benefit personally.  That's quite an undertaking.  Can we change the way we live that we have been used to since the day we were born?

And don't get me started on the lack of water, health care, rich-poor divide, three car families and the school run!

So have I resigned myself to the end of civilisation?  Not at all.  It's the very reason for this rant.  The very reason I will join the march in December.  I want to create conversation and persuade others to keep their eye on the ball.  Sure, day-to-day living and financial crisis events are important factors to deal with, but if we don't fix the bigger picture, and soon, there won't be any day-to-day to worry about.

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