Roger Marolt: Maybe there really isn’t anything we can do about the weather
June 21, 2018
The message on climate change isn't working. I turn the heat down in the winter. Nothing. I support the bag tax. Nothing. I eat less red meat. I make crass jokes about ecological hypocrites. For crying out loud, I drove a Prius for six years. And still … nothing, nothing, nothing. I even bought AT ski gear. Totally green camouflage, yes, but hopefully this and the untucked flannel shirts convince people I'm serious about this stuff.
All this effort at saving the planet and the news only gets worse. I cannot think of a single incident of positive news on climate change since well before they changed the catastrophe's name from "global warming." It's not even like things are getting worse at a slower pace. The ice caps are getting thinner faster, the seas are getting deeper quicker, and the weather swings more severe than ever. The mess continues to accelerate toward doomsday at an alarming rate. I think I saw a gecko on the Owl Creek bike path!
Except for the few who are not afraid to risk looking foolish for the opportunity to possibly become the center of attention in small talk at the community picnic or making a name for themselves in the Letters to the Editor section of the daily newspapers, nobody needs more convincing that climate change is happening. Most believe that humans are causing an outsized portion of it. All of us are doing something about it, including the deniers, if for no other reason than many anti-planetary warming measures are now the law.
I need a ray of hope filtered through a thickening part of the ozone layer cast upon my upturned face rather than another kick in the rear from the guy wearing crampons because his job is to measure the diminishing ice flows in Alaska. Yes, I believe our glaciers are disappearing, but the only way I can recycle more cans is to drink more beer and I'm pretty sure that isn't the right idea.
It's like going to the doctor and being told to lose 40 pounds and quit drinking or you won't live to see the Jonas Brothers reunion tour. You change your lifestyle. You make eating skinless chicken breasts, kale burgers and assorted nut mix your purpose and join a yoga cult to stay high on life. Then, at your follow-up visit, after all that effort, the doctor informs you that you gained two pounds of fat and your cholesterol is up. It's enough to make you take up smoking.
I feel like smoking a carton of Camels! What if there is no way for us to reverse climate change? It is a question every person conscientiously making changes in their lives to help curb this scourge of the environment must be asking themselves as they peruse the daily dark headlines. Am I the only one who believes manmade climate change is true and the hope to solve the problem might be false?
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I'm not sure it is realistic to believe we can fix everything we break. Previous generations were used to repairing stuff that broke or wore out, but we don't fix things anymore. Now, we just replace stuff. Unfortunately, we cannot buy a new atmosphere at Target. When you think about it, Earth definitely has a planned obsolescence. It is not going to last forever. We should have paid for the extended warranty. What, me worry?
Which leads me to another point: The whole climate change scenario feels like it is continually presented as an all or nothing scenario. We use low energy light bulbs lit by wind-generated electricity, even if we leave them on all night — we live. We leave the car idling while we run into the post office, whether for 10 seconds or an hour — we die. It doesn't feel like two simple outcomes for such a complex problem is realistic. Maybe there is only one. I mean, as the fictitious Garp said, "We are all terminal cases," and I think he implied, "no matter what."
So, yeah, I'm a little disillusioned about the effort we are putting forth to save this planet and the seemingly complete lack of results. Sure, we can always do more, but the way things are going, would anyone be surprised if it had no effect … as usual?
I think we need to simplify the message. Forget about trying to change the weather. Let's just popularize some sentiment like, "don't be wasteful." If brussels sprouts can become fashionable food, then I think prudence can become a coveted character trait. Let's just stop showing off to each other all the time and maybe the world won't wear out so fast.
Roger Marolt wonders if taking a raincoat when it looks like rain isn't still the best course of action. Email at email@example.com.
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