Like a Rolling Stone, Tumbling Down an Awfully Big Hill
The pace is picking up. All of it is getting faster.
What’s getting faster?
It’s not just the cars on the highways that are going faster, causing more accidents and deaths, but the pace of changes due to climate change.
A dust storm in Arizona. A freak snow event in Virginia, causing nearly one hundred cars to pile up and 6 deaths. Mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef. Wildfires in Texas and Colorado and Tennessee and elsewhere.
We have a whole new vocabulary around weather that has sprung up in the past few years: derecho, atmospheric river, polar vortex, heat dome, cloudburst, mudslide, and more.
Some of these items are not new terms, but we are using them more than once a century, once in 500 or 1000 years. They are becoming commonplace, and nobody seems to notice or care.
Major international organizations like the IPCC, cadres of climate scientists, psychologists, and epidemiologists are sounding the climate change alarm, warning that these new occurrences, this weather weirding or weather wilding, is not going to stop, not even if we halted all carbon emissions today, but continue to get worse, these events more extreme and more common.
Why doesn’t anybody care?
I’m a teacher, and whenever I bring up climate change in my classes, I see a sea of blank faces staring back at me, some of them even hostile to the idea of considering climate change the greatest risk to human survival on this planet in the history of our species.
Large groups of people are still saying: the weather and climate have always changed, going through cycles, periods of warmth and cold, because of small alterations in the orbit of the earth around the sun.
They say what we are seeing is natural. They say that humans are not the cause of this, that the scientific fact that carbon is a heat-trapping gas is a Chinese hoax intended to destroy American or Western manufacturing and protect the factories and employees and economy of China.
Denial is one of the stages of grief. One might argue that humanity is going through a collective grief, about climate change, seeing the rapid and drastic changes that…