Everyday I read about the “Climate Emergency.” Some writer or activist implores the world to do something about the oncoming end of our planet. “It’s almost too late.” But there’s still a little time. It’s a message that’s becoming all to familiar and is ultimately diluting what is otherwise an important message. The end of our planet is not eminent or so desperate that all life on earth is in danger. In fact, there are many areas of the globe that either haven’t experienced severe weather catastropies and probably will not experience such severe weather that it will make citizens panic. All we really have is a lot of media attention and a few thousand scientists saying the end is near. Neither is helpful.
The fact is, climate change is a serious issue. Even if fossil fuels weren’t a problem, and weren’t causing rising temperatures, this planet will eventually run out of these finite resources, even if it’s one hundred years from now. So the call for the need to develop reusable or infinite sources of energy is not without merit. That’s not a political issue or debate, it’s just common sense. The problem with the headlines and the term, “Climate Emergency” is that it’s a little like crying wolf, in the short term. I understand that there have been terrible fires in Australia and in the western US. But there is absolutely no evidence that if there wasn’t climate change, these fires would never have happened. Would they have been less severe? No one truly knows that either. But what I do know is that long before industrialization, terrible hurricanes struck Florida and the Caribbean. In fact, the worst hurricane to ever strike Long Island, New York, occurred in the 18th century. More than 10,000 people were killed. And that’s a time with far fewer people although they didn’t have modern day weather technology. So bad were the tornadoes in the midwest of the US, that a man named Frank L Baum wrote a book in 1900 about a young girl who’s house was whisked away in a tornado and taken to OZ.
Violent weather has always existed on this planet and always will, with or without climate change. So it’s time to change the narrative from “we’re all going to die” to “it just makes sense in terms of the future of our world.” Who doesn’t want cleaner air or cleaner water? Also not a political debate. While climate change is not a one day or one season event, the fact remains that the earth still has a lot of life left and there is still time. But we need to set the wheels in motion today. Not by panic but by logic and common sense.
One final point, you can’t simply turn off the spigets and close the coal mines without new energy waiting for those displaced by the closures. The world is happening today. People are affected today. Saying five years down the road renewables will provide millions of clean jobs is unacceptable. People need jobs today. So politicians and climate activists need to cease putting the cart before the horse. So all those who scream and yell and talk about how no one is doing anything, need to present solutions, not just complaints. Anyone can complain. It means nothing. It actually just annoys people. We need solutions today, so that when we are ready to switch to green energy, people’s lives aren’t destroyed because of it. If and when that happens, more people will come together on this issue.