Up late one night, unable to sleep because the Dodgers blew another lead, I start thinking about something I read online the other day.
I’m not a “doom and gloom” person. I mean I don’t want to be that person. I’ve never been effervescent, but I like to have a good time and a some laughs. I tend to keep myself aligned with positive thinking and action, but I also like to stay current on the news: local, national, international. I keep up with it. So, last week, I was messing around online, reading articles and putting off the the work I was supposed to be doing. I came across the Climate Clock. Ever heard of it? It’s a project launched back in September 2020 by a team of 16 artists, analysts, activists, designers, researchers, and scientists (i.e. people with brains and influence, who happen to care about the current state of our climate), and its purpose is to raise awareness of our need to completely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions before the clock reaches zero, indicating the moment when we will no longer be able to stay under the critical 1.5°C global warming threshold.
As of today, we have 6 years and 161 days to pull this off. That’s it. There’s not a whole lot of time left. We’re already playing catch-up to the effects that 100 years of burning fossil fuels has had on the climate. Some academics, like University of Michigan Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering Richard Rood, suggest that we strategize on adapting to the global temperature increase because we are past the point of preventing it. I find it hard to argue with his point. It’s backed up by data, but we don’t necessarily need the data when we’re living it. Look at the crazy early-June heat wave that scorched the Pacific Northwest. Roads buckled. A couple hundred people died from the heat. One town in British Columbia, Lytton, was completely destroyed by a wildfire the day after it hit 49.6°C (121°F for my fellow Americans). Other parts of the world, in Europe and Asia, got hammered by months worth of rain over a weekend, turning city streets into raging rivers. The drought in the Western U.S., the increasing frequency and power of hurricanes and typhoons, all of the polar ice melting, is only the opening act for climate change.
We’re in a bad spot here. We’re going to need to work together to be able to adapt, but there is so much tension between nations and neighbors, strangers and relatives. Good luck! We fell apart as a society during COVID after a couple of months over wearing masks. We still haven’t cleared the global threat of that nasty little virus. All of this spits in the face of my earlier statement that I’m not all doom and gloom. I’m not. I’m like a lot of you who would rather just enjoy themselves while they can, but I took the red pill on this climate shit, and I can’t shake the ominous feeling I get as I witness the inevitable unfold.
My god, Nick, go to sleep.