Three questions …
- Must we change?
- Can we change?
- Will we change?
Simple questions, but complicated answers.
Must we change? Yes. We must. If we don’t, we’re going to hell in a hand basket. That’s not a guess or a high probability prediction, it’s a fact.
Can we change? Yes. We can absolutely change. But, do we want to change? And who is “we”? I can change. I know a lot of other people who can change. But every time I go on social media or a news website, I’m inundated with comments, news stories and statements from people who are obviously completely incapable of change.
Will we change? Al Gore says yes. I say: I hope so. I’m not as optimistic or as positive as Al — and he’s seen a lot more of the negative effect of climate change than I have.
I don’t know why I’m pessimistic about it, but I don’t have a heck of a lot of faith in humanity in general. Humans are, by nature, destructive. It’s what we do. We destroy something in order to create and build something else. We like to deny the obvious because it’s too hard to deal with. We’re good at pretending everything’s okay. We are amazingly adept at giving excuses as to why we can’t do something: it’s too hard, it’ll take too long, it’ll cost too much money, it’s already a lost cause, not enough people are on board, it’s impossible, there’s no hope, what’s the point, what can I do alone … I admit I’ve used some of those excuses too. It does seem like a massive, impossible, expensive and never ending task to get the entire world to change the way in which they live.
But, I guess what makes me a little different is that I seriously wonder, “if I don’t do it, who will?” Plus, if I’m going to encourage others to do certain things (reduce waste, recycle, use less plastic, be more energy efficient, etc.), I should at least be able to say I’m already doing those things. And, 10, 20, 30 years from now, I want to look back and know that at least I tried. I did something about it. I didn’t ignore the problem. I didn’t make up endless excuses as to why it was too hard a problem to solve.
This is why I’m going to see the movie An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power and why I bought the accompanying book. The Climate Reality Project is one non-profit that’s fighting against climate change. It’s the non-profit I choose to affiliate the most with, but they aren’t the only group out there fighting the good fight. If you don’t like Al Gore, look for a group with less political affiliation. If there’s a certain thing you’re passionate about, look for a group that focuses on that. If nothing else, educate yourself on the issues and read about the actions being taken on by your local, provincial and federal governments.
And for the love of all things holy, don’t use the excuse that you can’t fight climate change if you drive a car and use electricity. Dear lord almighty, I hate people who say that. Why is that the typical excuse of the egghead population? Why do some people really think it’s that black and white? You do not have to drive an electric car to fight climate change. You do not have to ride your bike to work and school to fight climate change. YOU have to do the best YOU can do to fight climate change. Everyone is going to be able to contribute something different. The key, however, is that you DO something. Anything. Even if it’s just simply to acknowledge — publicly — that climate change exists, humans are the main cause of it, and it’s not going to get any better if we keep the status quo. It’s like the mental health issue … if we don’t talk about it, it’s like we pretend it doesn’t exist.
The movie comes out, in Canada, on July 4th. The book comes out today, July 25th.