Climate Change

I used to be a climate change optimist. Not a naive optimist, mind you, just an optimist. I wasn’t expecting a silver bullet or anything. I thought tackling the problem would be difficult and people would have to sacrifice quite a bit, but I thought it was doable.

Over the last few years, I’ve become a climate change pessimist. I’m basically a pessimist now because my reason for optimism is gone. Like I said, I wasn’t a naive optimist. I know that people have a way of discounting the future for the sake of the present. I also know that people don’t like to think about bad things happening. Finally, I have always known that some amount of warming is inevitable. But I was still optimistic.

The reason for my optimism was that I figured once the effects of climate change started to really kick in, people would wake up and do something about it. It would no longer be a future problem, but a present problem. It would be impossible to ignore. That would be the kick in the pants that the world needed.

Unfortunately, the effects of climate change are here and they’re impossible to ignore. In the US, we’ve seen the west decimated by fires. More mega storms are hitting the southeast. There are droughts in the northeast (where I live) as well as the northwest (where it’s supposed to rain all the time). We’re breaking records for heat all over the country. Even someone with their head in the sand can tell what’s going on.

And what are we doing about it? Virtually nothing. I don’t think a single country on the planet is hitting their emissions targets. The biggest polluters certainly aren’t. Meanwhile, the US Supreme Court is taking power away from the Environmental Protection Agency. Governments everywhere are losing their ability to govern. And even if they could govern, they seem to be only interested in maintaining the status quo.

So, now I’m a pessimist. Let me tell you, it’s an uncomfortable place to be. I miss hope. Luckily, I haven’t gone full cynic (yet). I don’t see the extinction of humanity, but things are going to get really bad for us. We may not all die, but a lot of people are going to. The fact that there is almost nothing I can do personally makes me incredibly sad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.