A warning about bad things is a good thing. We’ve had a deluge of climate change warnings this spring, punctuated, I suppose, by Mother Nature’s personal exclamation points: heavy snow, floods, tornadoes. Similar news from elsewhere: mudslides, typhoons, dam washouts, forest fires, drought in the bread baskets of the world, floods in the deserts.
Can’t we finally acknowledge that climate change is moving faster towards us than expected – and that there are measures we can take to combat (and adjust to) it?
The question of responsibility comes up quickly, and, apart from the political ostriches, everyone seems quick to rant about the irresponsibility and deviousness of Big Oil, Big Auto, Corporate Farms, etc. Can’t we also finally agree that these dinosaurs have already been called out?
What if we look, instead, at the quiet home on Raymond Crescent or inside Apartment 111 on Wilfrid-Lavigne? That would be us, you and me. What has been our contribution in face of the tsunami heading our way?
In a word, what’s needed to protect our environment, which includes the climate, is respect. If we don’t each respect our environment, how will it, in all its effects and influences, improve – or even just stabilize?
Respect is a vague and wide-ranging concept, but isn’t it clear that we have failed to respect our environment? Just the amount of litter is still unbelievable. Why are fast-food containers, cups, and plastic bottles still blowing across playgrounds and highways?
Why do our forests, what’s left of them, look like battlegrounds and not like clean lungs of the planet? They’re more the lungs of a society addicted to the nicotine of quick profit and convenience. Apart from the semi-preserved specimens of Gatineau Park and the Boucher Forest, drive out of town and ... weep. Search hard for evidence of respect.
Why are there political candidates and parties still in the mainstream who deny respect, all in the name of any false flag you wish: “too expensive”, “loss of old-economy jobs”, challenges to “private ownership”, or “state intervention”? We hear this charade every day from the US and now from across Canada. Politicians’ false explanations and insincere promises . . . why buy them? Is this showing the respect which our future requires?
Further, can’t we drill a little closer to the bone: what are we doing in our homes and apartments? Showing respect? Collecting our compostables? Sorting our recyclables? Cleaning off our recyclables? Buying packages of already-over-packaged goods? Are we wasting water which costs our city to clean, store and transport? Are we wasting electricity, heating fuel, or gasoline with our ubiquitous single-person driving? Creating waste is not showing respect.
It’s dismaying today to hear so many predictions of coming catastrophe, as though there is no alternative. As though we have never considered that the alternative to disaster starts in our own daily lives and in the decisions we each take.