Tuesday, 22 September 2009

A thought, which perhaps you should put off thinking about if you've been feeling low, because thinking about it when stressed is likely to just be the last straw.
I'm keeping track of the run up to the next big climate summit in copenhagen, esp. the noises coming out of the US, India, China and Brazil. Then planning to write something about it. And part of that is watching lots of speeches. And today, again, I realised the difference between intellectually knowing something is wrong, and being horrified in your gut.
I've been thinking about climate change now for 4 years, ever since I first began studying it.
And there have been moments when I've been absolutely sickened by it. But today I thought this thought:
You realise how BIG the world actually is, how deeply ancient, how vast? And how much life it contains and nurtures and the scale of the processes that it takes to keep a global, interconnected life support system going? My god. And you realise how much time it's taken to evolve to this stage? 4 point something billion years, and every passing second brings up that number. And in the space of a few human generations between the start of the industrial revolution to now, we're fundamentally changing that entire system. Dismantling it systematically.
Don't get me wrong. The system is so perfectly self-correcting, after a tipping point, have no doubt that it will heal itself and get rid of the offending organism, or reduce it's numbers to keep its further actions absolutely under control.
But in the meanwhile, we're taking the ground out from under our own feet, and causing whole nations of creatures to simply tip into nothing. Not a single centimetre of the earth's surface is unaffected, now, by us, because the very air has changed.
I invite you, an individual, human, being, to feel, in your gut the horror of being, in this case, on the wrong side.
The powerful, all-changing, supreme, side. We know what happens to those in all our fairytales, in all our history.
Don't get me wrong. The wrong side is also a product of nature, and so it also has the capacity to correct itself, and it's taking baby steps, perhaps too late, to at least look at what's it's doing.
But feel it - actually imagine it - unless you're a member of an indigenous island tribe or a herder in sub-saharan africa, you, me, us, all, everyone you know and love, is on the side that is whipping the oceans up into storms, sweeping deserts further across the globe and buying, flying and discarding our own way into misery. Imagine it, sincerely image it. If everyone did that, and then knew what to change, perhaps we could hope that it won't go so badly for us in the end.