How did climate change lose its climax? How did the public become so accepting of the planet veering off into self-destruction? When did watching walruses get trampled and polar bears drown start to seem acceptable to everyone? How about massive tsunamis and hurricanes? It seems clear to me that nature is changing and we humble persons had better wake up before it is too late, if it is not too late already. It seems like I should be working 20 hours a day on some innovative new kind of green energy and working from home, in a home with only one light on and only for a little while. But that is not what seems to be going on in my neighborhood. I am sure that in just a few weeks, Christmas lights will be blossoming from every front stoop and shoppers will be busy contributing the GNP and the devastation of the globe simultaneously.
Al Gore has tried. He has worked for decades on raising the awareness of the public to environmental concerns. Could there be anyone more frustrated than Al Gore? First he wins the popular vote for the presidency and then has it snatched from within his grasp. Not only did this rudely truncate his immediate career trajectory but it also meant the Anti-Awareness President just snuck in the back door of the White House. It meant his work on the environment over the past several years would soon be laid to waste as the interests of Big Business trumped the interests of the American public. It meant the budget surplus would soon become the biggest deficit in history. It meant peace and prosperity just lost out to war, greed, torture, cronyism, incompetence, abnormally huge disasters, and international disgrace. Then there was the problem with the vegans. Vegans challenged Gore to go vegan if he really cared about the environment and global warming. Green People challenged him to stop living in such a big house and take steps himself to stop global warming. He did the latter; the former, not so much. It was even more disappointing than his presidential loss for some of the vegan community, maybe for Al Gore himself; he could not seem to please anyone. He continues trying to get the message out, but no one is actually paying much attention. The global community is even getting frustrated with the ole U.S. for being a big contributor to climate change without taking a leadership role in moving the planet towards solutions. At least not yet.
People are tired. It was called “compassion fatigue” after Hurricane Katrina. We have been at “war” for so long that the word doesn’t resonate the way it once did. And only a very small percentage of the population is actually aware of the war, actually paying the price in blood and tears for the war. There are all of us who are out of work and worrying more specifically about paying the rent and buying our next meal. Then there are all the millions of people that got Madoffed or scammed or sent into foreclosure. On top of that are the millions of Americans who do not have adequate healthcare; some of them have insurance, just not the healthcare one would expect to accompany the policy. Some are going to die without proper healthcare; that is what keeps them up at night. And the deficit that will be handed down to our grandchildren, the debt to China, the loss of prestige in the world community. Iraq, Afghanistan, the war on terror; will they prosecute for Guantanamo and waterboarding? Iran? North Korea? I am tired, too, just thinking of what Obama has on his plate. And he doesn’t exactly have the country behind him; at least there is a noisy group that seems to have zero respect even for the office of presidency anymore; surely race has nothing to do with that. Interesting, since the last guy could not even speak clearly but they never uttered a word. Good job, Brownie. Yeah. Uh Huh.
Climate change just sounds like more, well, change, and lately change has not meant anything too promising. Yes we have a different set of players and they have certainly tried to institute positive changes. But they keep trying so very hard to play decently – with thugs and detractors. It won’t work. This is a very strange era and a stranger still decade behind us. I think most people get caught up in what happened at work, getting the kids fed, pay the bills, clean the dishes and straighten up the bed, conk out, wake up to the alarm blaring and do it all again. Weekends mean groceries, vacuuming, laundry, kids and their activities, maybe a good escape movie, church on Sunday for some, lunch, then a nap and the whole thing starts all over. For the lucky ones with jobs that is. For the rest it is jobhunting, rejection notices, unpaid bills, anxiety.
I just saw Michael Moore’s film, Capitalism: A Love Story. It is one of those films that gets you laughing and crying, sometimes at the same time. Old vintage 1950s film make it fun and lively, but it is no comedy. The ending is a delight: do not miss this film. Somehow we have been poisoning ourselves so slowly that we barely noticed. Our environment has been becoming toxic, our economy dismal. But even Michael Moore sounds like he is getting tired. The lack of outrage is disheartening. Anger and action require energy. I hope we can all muster some, soon. There is so much to be done. And as long as we are in the game, we might as well be on the right team. Here is a list of organizations involved in finding answers. We owe it to future generations to see that there is….a future. October 15th is Blog Action Day. October 24th is International Climate Change Day. The best way to help is to go vegan; if you are already vegan, make certain you are conserving energy, keeping your tires inflated and getting the word out. Get in the game, and be on the winning team!