Dear Future Self,
Are we still here? If so do we still have things like democracy and pistachio nuts that are sold without their shells? Do we have enough water for everyone, and has the cast of Bravo TV’s Vanderpump Rules found inner peace? Did our investments in the global entertainment/mass anesthetizing industry help us cope, or did it distract us too long from getting work done, and are you now living in a world where there are limitless channels but limited species? I am worried about you future self/society, but I don’t really know what to do. Hopefully everyone is doing okay and is spending their Universal Basic Income dollars on Sparkling Smartwater, but if that isn’t the case, hopefully we have figured out a way to deal with the changing climate.
Climate change is something that isn’t going away anytime soon, and something you, future self/society, are dealing with now. The weird thing about it is that there seems to be ways for us to avoid a complete climate collapse, but those solutions aren’t being implemented fast enough. I know that we can’t just snap our fingers and have every coal fired plant be converted to a renewable energy system instantly, but in terms of the United States’ role in stopping climate change, you would think that given the fundamental danger of climate change (extinction), we would be investing Everything That We Have in renewable energy and other solutions. You would think that every single citizen would be taking climate change into consideration when they vote, or that the evening news would be covering it like the danger that it is, but we aren’t. Everyone, or at least the average person, seems to be worried but maybe not knowing what to do. Politicians aren’t talking about it as much as they should be, maybe because of financial interests, maybe not. There doesn’t seem to be the type of urgency that matches the danger present, while we actually have time to do things.
Climate change will dry up our drinking water, make our agricultural land useless, our air unbreathable, and will likely cause social strife that will probably be the end of us as a species. It doesn’t have to be that way if we don’t let it. Some hope that I find is in the environmental organizations that are already, and have been, operating. Organizations like the Sierra Club are inspiring because they combine grassroots action with actual lawsuits that hold people in power, or the people that can actually change things, to account. The fact that California recently legislated that all new housing needs to be built with solar panels is inspiring. The Impossible Burger’s parent company’s marketing push to get their new meatless burger mainstream is inspiring. There is inspiring work being done, and it is important to focus on the good. By focusing on the good it gives energy for continuing to try.
Personally, I promise to start to make as many of my decisions as possible be filtered through the lens of, “is this helping or hurting the cause for climate change?” It can be as simple as using reusable things as much as possible, but as institutional as only voting for local and national candidates who promise to combat climate change as a priority.
Climate change is happening, and it isn’t slowing down, but hopefully it doesn’t take more extreme weather events for us as a collective society to wake up to the fact that we need to change as much as we can, while we still can. We still have a society, as fragmented as it is, and that’s not something that will be promised when we run out of water.
You, but in the past