This is my first blog post. I am a Canadian senior citizen concerned about climate change. Although as a senior I can insist it is still “global warming” just renamed so some senator cannot make hay by bringing snowballs into work with him on an unseasonably cold day – mistaking weather for climate.
After years of personal research and observation I realize that there are some alarming disconnects globally, locally and individually about the reality of climate change. Specifically, the illusion that this is an issue that will possibly impact our grandchildren somewhat, probably around the year 2100 – not an imminent and species extinction threatening catastrophe.
I get this. Personally I am an optimist at heart and always look for the upside of things. But I am also inclined to examine all evidence and arguments so that I can feel comfortable (not sure this is the appropriate word here!) in my conclusions and reasonably confident about what actions follow from those conclusions.
I worked for a long time in construction. My area of expertise was energy efficiency – primarily how to build or retrofit homes to reduce usage of energy – I even designed and built a passive solar home for our family in a cold Canadian climate in the 80’s.
Thinking this was a “no brainer” I marketed my skills emphasizing the economic advantages of such construction long term – even though there was a slight increase in initial cost for better than code insulation, air sealing and mechanical systems. Again this was a result of my conclusions, based on examination of evidence, fueled by my expectation (and apparently optimism) that rational, logical customers would see the obvious advantages. “Lalalalala”.
In this blog I hope I can get some people to pull their fingers out of their ears and listen, at whatever level of skepticism or denial, as I retrace my personal journey to recognize, accept, fight against and ultimately resign myself to the reality of a world warming beyond control. I remain an optimist but my practical side has lead me to explore options with which some will empathize, some may totally reject and perhaps a few will embrace.
A few points are clear:
First, there are too many entrenched, powerful interests – read: scumsucking corporate asshole greedheads (SCAG) – for whom the interests of the very (very) few outweigh the needs of the rest of the planet.
Second verse (same as the first), the SCAG have waged a disinformation campaign to very successfully sow seeds of doubt about legitimate research using the same tactics, and in some cases the same “experts”, as used by Big Tobacco to obscure the truth about their products.
Third, politicians – who are largely beholden to the SCAG because they help finance their election – are reluctant to do anything but kiss the hand that feeds them.
Fourth, the scientists themselves, often reliant on SCAG for research dollars, have been ultra cautious about attributing cause which might reflect poorly on their benefactors. And as a group these already tend to be among the most cautious – especially when it comes to extrapolating the possible future their empirical data suggests. As one would expect, their consensus synthesis of global research is about as conservative as you could get…and still is pretty terrifying.
Surprisingly, even among the vast majority who recognize and accept all the foregoing, there continues to be a fingers in the ears “lalalala, I don’t want to hear this” response to information or evidence which does not coincide with the “business-as-usual-hey -I’m-doing-my-bit-by-using-compact-fluorescents” mindset.
Don’t tell me you are out there protesting pipelines – been there done that (releasing ballons at the site of Darlington, exposing radioactive discharges from uranium mines, marching in New York) – all worthwhile stuff we are still permitted to do (more or less -within guidelines) by the “authorities.”
I’m going to continue writing so, whether or not you are along for the ride, at least I will be telling my story, presenting my evidence, explaining my conclusions, making my case and describing the path I am following. Stay tuned.