It’s easy to think the world is headed for disaster, and we can’t stop it.
Ask those who suffered through the intense heat wave that hit California and the wildfires that came along with it. Ask those who removed a garbage truck stuck in (not “on”, but “in”) a road in England when their heat wave melted the asphalt. Ask people in Norway and Sweden what it’s like to be plagued by massive wildfires in the Arctic no less. Ask the people of Houston what it’s like to suffer through a once-in-500-years flood three years in a row. Ask folks in Puerto Rico what a hurricane can do, especially when your own government fails you.
Ask Russian wheat farmers what it’s like when a heat wave destroys 1/3rd of your wheat crop. Ask Europeans how it feels when a heat wave kills 70,000 people. Ask the victims of Hurricane Sandy, and Harvey, and Irma, and Maria what all that extra storm surge from sea level rise means to their homes, their property, their lives. Ask Miami how much it has spent already to fend off the damage from flooding due to sea level rise without a storm, without rain or wind, just from high tide. Ask the United States Navy what sea level rise means to the largest naval base in the world.
As bad as things have been, this is just the beggining, just a “shot across the bow.” Temperatures are going to get hotter. Both flood and drought are going to get worse. Storms damage is going to increase. The sea itself will rise. This is just the beginning — it’s going to get worse. And worse.
It’s easy to get depressed about it all. It’s not like we weren’t warned, it’s not like we didn’t know. In reality, the greed and lies of profiteers, and the power of money to pay off politicians to deny reality, has made things as bad as they are. All of which can make you think we’ve brought this on ourselves, that it’s too late, that pain and suffering is our fate because we’ve brought it down on our own heads. And this is just the beginning; it’s going to get worse.
It’s easy to think the world is headed for disaster, and we can’t stop it. Too easy.
But today, I have more hope, more inspiration, than I’ve had about this issue ever. So to the kids I say, “Thank you.” To all of you who have helped publicize and promote their efforts (and you still can!) I say, “Thank you.”