What an odd winter this has been…
As far as the weather is concerned, that is. Its February, for heaven’s sake. February. The coldest month of the year. Except that it isn’t. The coldest month, I mean. Or how would I know, the year has barely started. And it’s early February.
It’s just that for as long as I can remember, February has been quite cold, with a lot of snow. Look, this was last year:
And now… Well, I’ve seen something that sort of looks like snow (or sleet, rather) a couple of times, early in the morning, but it never lasted long. And it’s been quite warm, too. Depending on your definition of ‘warm’, of course. What I mean is that the temperature has not really dropped below freezing.
It’s not that I miss winter, really. Or snow. Or the cold weather. This is just all very weird. It’s early February, but it feels, and looks, like early April. What are we supposed to make of that?
Climate Change is real
Well, yes, of course it is. And probably we’ll see more mild winters like this one in the future. And probably we’ll also have cold winters with lots of snow, too. So what? Climate change is a process, not a one-off. I don’t understand climate change denialists. But I know that there’s a word for them: stupid.
I don’t know (or care) what motivates them, either. But I know they’re suffering from the boiling frog syndrome. You know: if you put a frog in a pot with boiling water, it jumps out. But if you put the frog in tepid water and start slowly heating the water, the frog adjusts to the water temperature. Until the water starts boiling and the frog dies. The problem with climate change denialists is that they want to turn the rest of us into frog soup, too. So, they’re not just stupid but also dangerous.
No, I don’t suffer from climate anxiety.
Please. I’m too old old for that. I’m Gen X: we were vaccinated against idealism at birth and overdosed on sarcasm in our teens, we’re immune. Besides, I can’t stand fanatics, of any sort. So, don’t try to sell me Extinction Rebellion, or whatever. Yes, it’s a noble goal. Just the wrong means. Yes, I’ve heard that the end justifies the means, but come on!
Did I mention I’m Gen X? Protesting is such a Boomer thing to do. Or Gen Z (Hey, maybe we should call them Doomers? You know, because they emulate the original protest generation but without the joy?). Anyway, we Gen Xers typically let others do the shouting and raving and heavy lifting while we roll our eyes and shoot snide comments and cynical one-liners from the hip.
So, what should we do to combat climate change, then?
To be honest, it might be a bit late to combat it. Hey, I’m GenX, remember? We’re not exactly known for our optimism; pragmatism is more our game.
Lucky for us, there is something we, too, can do to fight climate change. For starters, instead of voting for entertaining clowns and self-serving dictators, we could choose our political candidates a bit more carefully. You know, help the idealists get into office. They have the energy and drive to tackle big issues, and they’re not afraid of butting some denialist heads.
And we could invest in clean technology and sustainable products. Yes, it might be a bit more expensive, and we might not be able to buy so many products. But seriously, who needs all that cheap crap anyway?
Personally, I think that our best chance for reversing (or at least mitigating) climate change is if someone, somewhere, finds a way to make money from saving the planet. I’m not talking about selling people false hope and empty promises. What we need is capitalism with a conscience that makes saving the planet more profitable than destroying it. That would reverse climate change faster than any protests boomers and doomers can cook up.
Cynical? Oh yes. But if it works, who cares?
Now, where could we find some idealistic brainiacs and mercenary do-gooders?
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I wish we find soon such brainiacs, who have climate saving business ideas, that are easy and feasible for any person to use. I wish to recycle plastics. We don’t have working recycling system here if you live in your own house instead of a flat in block of flats. Last weekend there was an article on the local newspaper on recycling. I started to read the instructions the plastic recycling business gives us: it has to be clean, but don’t wash it, no black plastic, only plastics containers for this and that purposes can be brought in, only plastic of certain types, pack the plastics loosely in open plastic bag to make it easy for the robot to handle it. Seriously to make it easy for their robot! I got so frustrated, I gave up the idea. Maybe there are other things I can do for the planet. -q
Oh yes, why do they have to make recycling such a pain? I live in a flat, so we have a dozen different bins, but it’s a bit challenging to store all of our recyclables in the flat (before I have collected enough to take them to the bins). I guess I will turn my balcony into a temporary recycling station…
Ya nailed it, Tiina! I am technically a boomer but maybe close enough to Gen Xers to share the cynicism and attitudes you have described in your post. Agreed, if capitalists decide it is in their best interest, meaning it will make them more money, to invest in ways to save the planet, then we may have a shot at change. If they don’t, we won’t . Sadly, it’s that simple.
Yes, it may be cynical but I think guilt-tripping people over their travels and consumption choices is never going to work. If anything, it will backfire: nobody likes a nag. And I always feel very tempted to say to these young Doomers (I’ve decided to call them that because they’re so full of doom and gloom) that if they’re serious about saving the planet, they should study engineering and find ways to actually do something useful instead of the endless virtue signalling.
I’m a genuine boomer conceived when my father got back from the front at the end of WW2. Proudly marched against the bomb in the sixties and pro abortion in the 90’s in Ireland but what I’d like to see now is a lower voting age and less old guys in charge. Over 70, time to retire, I am living proof that age does not bring wisdom.
Your generation actually made a difference, and you had fun doing that, too! The Doomers (= what I’ve decided to call the 20-something climate warriors) have taken a leaf of the Boomer playbook as far as protesting is concerned, but they’ve totally ignored to importance of hope and belief in a better future (which the Boomers always had). I guess they took the GenX nihilism a bit too much to heart, too…
I wholeheartedly concur, Tiina!
mwhaha, I’m also Gen X and totally agree that we were vaccinated against idealims at a very short age. Probably we’re more conscious of how the world works.
I also believe that the one and only way to stop the climate change is changing economic dynamics, making sustainability profitable!. Obviously, I try to don’t exacerbate the problem, so I’ve reduced my consumerism, but still take a plane or two, and commit other crimes. Nobody’s perfect.
I can’t understand those denials, they look like the Titanic orchestra playing as the ship sinks. Keep the party going!
Yes, whoever makes sustainability profitable will not only get rich but will definitely also play a big part in saving the planet. We all make small changes, but I don’t think people will stop travelling, and I really resent the guilt-tripping we get these days. I always think that people who criticise air travel should spend their time in a more useful manner: study science and find alternatives to fossil fuels or something.
Oh my word, Tiina, may I stand up here behind my desk and applaud you?! This is brilliantly stated. I have been having such difficulty wrapping my brain around climate change denialists. I don’t understand how you can deny something that is so blatantly obvious as well as scientifically proven. Historically speaking as well, this planet has been going through climate change since the very beginning of time. And eventually as the life put upon it seeks to destroy it, the planet rebels and wipes out all life, making way for new life in the hopes that it will not seek to destroy it. Hmmm…now I am wondering if perhaps Planet Earth, mighty and powerful and beautiful as she may be, is the stupid one. She keeps giving chances to life on her surface and every damn time, she has to just wipe it out and start all over again! But seriously, I am with you on all of this. I do know one thing, this planet will surely destroy us before we can destroy it. Not that we shouldn’t be kinder and more conscientious…because we should be. The damage may be too far done and the generations that follow us may likely see a doomsday similar to the ice age and whatever fiery inferno we deserve.
Thanks! I’m sure Mother Nature will get her revenge… I ‘ve certainly felt her wrath these past few summers, with the heat waves that turn my flat into a sauna.