Climate Change


A dear friend of mine from college was recently in town. She's a climate scientist who researches global warming, and every time I see her she has a grimmer prognostication for the planet. I'm always full of rather impossible writerly questions for her: what species will dominate evolution in the changed world, what effect will rising waters have on transportation infrastructure? This time I asked her if she could wave a magic wand and have one change for people in the global north (by far the largest perpetrators of climate destruction), what would it be. Now, I don't think scientists always have the solutions, or the best strategies, but her answer was interesting.

She said she wished everyone would start thinking, and be educated, about the impacts their decisions have on the planet. Her example was her professor buddies always wanting to drive to the next town over for beers on Friday, even though her town is full of beer. Not once have any of them ever brought up the fact that a 45 minute drive is wasteful. Not once have any of them, as far as she knows, made the connection that their consumption choice they make impacts the planet.

I'm not sure I agree with her, and I'm always a little leery of consciousness raising as it can go on and on and on with limited results, but I do think she's right that for most people it's not even on their radar yet, and until it is, large-scale changes in our planet-destroying ways won't happen.

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ktsparrow
Katherine Sparrow
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