The future. That one thing we all look towards, but never seem to figure out how to get there. Or at least that is how it seems at certain points. We make all these intricate plans on how to get there, only to find the bridge we planned on using to cross the river to be burned and destroyed. Ok, so what now?
Looking around, it seems very easy to see all the gloom and doom elements there. The rise of ultra-corporate interests within the government. The naked over-reach for power and control by those same ultra-corporate entities. The attitudes of being above the laws that govern their respective countries. No regard for their fellow individuals. No regard for the well-being of the planet. All the damage that they are doing to the planet. A blindness towards environmental issues that will impact future generations. Not only does it make your head spin, but you also want to sit on the ground and just cry. All of those actions have led to the destroyed bridge we currently see. No way over the river. What now?
I remember the nuclear panic of the 1970s and 1980s. I am sure some of you are older enough to remember the issues in the 1960s. I remember the forlorn feelings that arose from the dark clouds of nuclear annihilation that hung over the world’s collective heads. To borrow from the Greek Myths, the nuclear spectre was much like the Sword of Damocles, a giant sword held at the pommel by a single hair from a horse’s tail. (Come on admit it, you’re currently hearing Rocky singing “The Sword of Damocles is hanging over my head” from the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’) In a manner of speaking, the climate change issue has a very similar feeling of impending doom for the planet.
Can It Be Changed?
Well, to be honest, in our current political climate….no. And if we are going to find ways to stave off the issue of climate change, we are going to need the politicians. In fact, we are going to need people of all kinds. Solving an issue this complex is going to need a lot of thinking, and a whole lot more doing. However, a new question has started to arise. Are we too late? has the earth reached a tipping point in the balance that just cannot stop the changes in climate that we could see? Or perhaps, if we follow the naysayers, does the problem really even exist?
Well, let’s set the “too late” part of the discussion to the side, just for the moment. What about the naysayers, the ones who believe that all of this is a “hoax” or “garbage science”? For the most part, many of those folks fall into two categories: those who are using all of this as a political football to thumb their noses at their opponents, and those who tend to believe that earth is here specifically for the use of those exclusive members of the Christian faith. On the one hand, its a group of people that just want their way, and will stubbornly oppose anything that the opposite side of the political spectrum wants. Essentially, “the loyal opposition.” Some of these folks are squarely in the court of the corporate entities and on the side of accumulating more monetary wealth than they really need. As if those with the biggest bank account when they die, wins. The other side of that spectrum, the Christians that utilize Dominion-ist theory to support their claim to the Earth. These folks are a larger danger to the world, for a lot of reasons, but let’s realize that these naysayers will likely never be convinced of a single thing about climate change. So, instead of fighting them and constantly bickering and arguing with them – move around them and continue on. And yes, I realize that some of these folks are in political positions. Work actively to vote them out of their positions (see, your vote really does matter!).
Do We Have to Stop?
But are we too late? Maybe. I’m not a climate scientist nor do I pretend to be one on or off TV. Some of the scientists that I do read and follow say that this may be so. That we may have already reached a tipping point, where any effort towards curbing the issues surrounding climate change. And I do believe that there may be some truth to that. Does that mean we HAVE to stop? Certainly, some folks are seeing this as the moment to throw their hands in the air and shout “What’s the use?” at the clouds. Under that perspective, the easiest thing to do is to give up. In Disney’s movie ‘Tomorrowland”, a rather poignant statement made by Hugh Laurie’s character listed off a large number of issues that he related to the issues surrounding the inevitable destruction of mankind. In that statement is the following lines:
In every moment there’s the possibility of a better future, but you people won’t believe it. And because you won’t believe it you won’t do what is necessary to make it a reality. So, you dwell on this terrible future. You resign yourselves to it for one reason, because that future does not ask anything of you today.
So, the bridge is burned out and destroyed. What now? Well, we can build another bridge. With what? Whatever we can find. It won’t be the perfect bridge, but it will work to a better degree than nothing at all. or we can swim across the river. Or try to find boats or build other floating devices and cross that way. But we don’t give up. Its certainly easy to just give up. Its certainly easy to resign yourself to the idea that you don’t make a difference. Because as the statement says, that future is not asking anything of you today. Sure the plans we make for the future will not always be what we expected. But we can improvise, we can adapt. As human beings, its what we do.
if we are at that tipping point and our efforts will change nothing? Then, perhaps through our efforts, we will find ways to adapt to the coming changes. We will find ways to continue forward. Not for us, not for the generation directly behind us, but for the many generations to come. perhaps our plans will fall apart. That the future won’t be nearly as rosy as we would prefer it to be. But at the very least, we tried. At the very least we did SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Even despite the naysayers or the people that just want to use up the resources now and not look to the future, because they believe the only future is being a small group of chosen individuals that are accepted to a gilded country club simply because they believed, not because they tried. I’d rather try.