Those who ‘don’t believe’ need to wake up

It’s baffling, but we still hear it and read it. Even here in Canada where we have an educated population.

“Oh, I don’t believe in climate change, or global warming, or whatever you call it.”

Or those that have finally conceded climate change might be real after all, but who still deny, deny, deny that human beings have anything to do with it.

Those who still don’t “believe” in climate change need to wake up. It’s not Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

It’s the baking hot summer weather with very little rain for months on end. Right here in Cowichan. It’s the increasing number of severe weather incidents across the globe, from unprecedented hurricanes to blizzards and floods.

It’s not just that we know about them more because of the 24-hour news cycle and video from around the world.

For those who don’t think human beings can possibly have any part in causing it, well, they need to wake up, too.

Our population has exploded across the globe and continues to expand. But we’re little, right? Small dots on this blue and green earth. Sure, as individuals.

But consider that in 1970 there were about half as many people in the world as there are now. That’s right. Half. There are over seven billion people in the world in 2015. At the beginning of the 20th century (1900) there were less than two billion people in the world.

And think of the technologies we have developed since. Cars have proliferated. Power plants. Feats of engineering those who came before could never have imagined. We’ve slashed down forests and fracked the ground.

And yet people still think our actions – the actions of billions – aren’t enough to have devastating consequences. If you don’t get it now, what is it going to take?

It may be momentarily comforting to live in that kind of denial, so that nothing has to change in your life, but it’s not realistic long-term.

We’re seeing the effects now, imagine the world your children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews will be living in.

What will you tell them when they ask you why you didn’t stop the calamity when you had the chance?

Our way of life, pillaging non-renewable natural resources until there’s nothing left, cannot continue indefinitely. That’s just not how reality works. We need to take off the blinders.

We need to encourage new ideas, develop new sources of energy, not be scared into inaction and chained to conventional thinking.

As destructive as human beings can be we are also inventive and innovative, dreamers and survivors.

We can build a better future.