Recently, I’ve watched a few episodes of Years of Living Dangerously on Showtime. I resisted at first because I watch very little TV and can get overwhelmed with too much negative information. And while I find the series well done, informative, and extremely important, I also have found it sadly discouraging at a personal level. I begin to wonder if our “spunky” efforts will have any effect. I wonder if the majority of us would rather just go about our shopping, bury our heads, and pretend that all the damage we’ve done will just go away.
I wonder, too, if we can rise above politics. Do we really need to prove that humans are to blame before we step up to the plate and make the sacrifices necessary to effect change? Is all the arguing and posturing just a way to avoid the need to make really hard decisions? All the political wrangling, to me, is ridiculous. One politician whose children convinced him to start supporting efforts to correct climate change, lost his seat. Another politician whose district was devastated by hurricane Sandy said very openly that if he came down on the side of science, he would not be re-elected. He then went on to say that Americans just don’t have the will to change.
Is that true? Are we really so spoiled by our lives of convenience and instant gratification or so blinded by our own ideologies, that we are unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to correct our ills for the sake of future generations. Will our children’s children look at us as shortsighted, selfish, and shallow? Is that the legacy we choose? I hope not.
I don’t think it matters at all who or what is to blame at this point. Blame aside, it is up to us as humans to fix it, or at the absolute least not continue to perpetuate it. Can’t we acknowledge that our consumption habits need to change and that we must stop being a “throw away society” or we will have more toxic landfills than we have green space? Can’t we agree that our dependence upon fossil fuels is depleting our resources, polluting our planet, and that we need alternatives? Can’t we just agree that we love this earth and want to preserve it for all the generations that follow?
We have to grow up and do better. I’m holding tight to the belief that we can.