No spring this year? Or just for some of us?
2015 may be remembered as the year without a Spring. We went directly from never-ending winter to 30+ degrees in early May. The daffodils barely had their beautiful heads up when the heat slumped them over. Tulips are struggling to stay up with this Spring-squeezed year.
Last weekend tornados and violent storms swept through the USA midwest and south. Floods on one side of the Rockies, drought on the other – for the fourth year in a row. Bangladeshi and Burmese refugees are flooding their neighbours as surging seas literally eat their country away. Pacific islanders take to the sea in their canoes to avoid storms and rising sea levels. Ice sheets are withdrawing . . . do we need to repeat what has become standard news almost every week? The world’s climate is degenerating.
And why is that so contentious? Why do so many people, still in the minority, refuse to acknowledge or even to utter the words, “climate change”? Why do the American media reports on climate-driven devastation, every two weeks it seems, rarely include those two words?
Yes, many people believe that any attempts to remedy climate change will cost them money – higher gas prices, maybe, more taxes, perhaps. This is the result of a well-planned campaign to scare voters away from any restrictions on carbon usage, whatsoever. We went through this during the tobacco wars, when Big Tobacco assured us that restrictions on tobacco use would harm the economy and also enslave citizens to Big Government. That seems a factor today, too: being enslaved by Big Government. We’re assured by the lobbies hired by Big Oil that carbon taxes or anything like that will result in a North American totalitarian state.
Put this way, all of this seems ridiculous. Who believes the propaganda by the oil companies or their political servants?
It’s been said before by citizens on all sides of the political spectrum that climate change – and environmentalism in general – is a non-political issue in itself. The environment and the climate have no political allegiances, no national boundaries. Mr Harper’s children will roast in a super-heated planet, just like our own kids; he needs clean air to breath and clean water, as does Mr Mulcair. Climate refugees will jostle Mr Trudeau, as they will anyone else.
Environmentalism and climate change remedies are politically neutral. No one is asking that Big Oil be nationalized. No one is refusing to admit that climate change is caused by every one of us today, our cars, our heat-leaking homes, all of modern life, it seems. No one can escape the environment, that’s what the word means.
So can’t we stop blaming each other, stop pandering to Big Money in any form? What’s to fear? Can’t humanity work together on this clearly-common problem? Isn’t that what this word means, “humanity”?