Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Jorth sank down into her chair and read the news headlines with a feeling of total and utter relief. Finally, FINALLY, Australia had decided to pass a parliamentary bill to fix a price on carbon emissions. Yes, she admitted to herself, it wasn't the best plan in the world - in her opinion, there was still far too much kowtowing to big businesses and lobby groups, but it was something. It felt like an actual, concrete start in the fight against climate change. She sent up a silent prayer that where Australia had the guts to lead, other countries would follow.
Jorth was loath to admit it, but she had been despairing for the future of the Earth of late. She had been reading books by Bill McKibben and Mark Lynas, both of whom had laid out frightening scenarios of what life on Earth would be like if we passed the critical 350ppm emissions point. But after reading of these probable environmental Armageddons, she looked around her and saw people driving their kids two blocks to school, jumping on planes whenever the fancy took them and always, always conveniently forgetting the impact their actions were having on others - typically others who had less than they to start with.
Knowing that 350ppm had been passed and that current CO2 emissions were standing at 389 ppm, she looked into the scientific predictions of life on a hotter earth, and was aghast at the possibility of more ferocious storms, never ending droughts, bush fires that wouldn't burn out, rising seas claiming back lands forever - and humans fighting each other tooth and nail for every last bit of arable land to grow their food, and each last drop of clean water.
She had also began to laugh bitterly at herself for her choices. She could sense that her moral and ethical stands struck others as being old fashioned, a bit of a joke. What was the point, she thought, of riding her bike instead of owning a car, of eating a predominately vegetarian diet, of restricting flights to one every 10 years, of living in a tiny house so they wouldn't waste valuable resources when nobody else seems to give a flying damn? Her small voice calling for less material goods made by emission belching factories with a focus instead on building stronger communities was lost in the majority maelstrom of voices crying for MORE! MORE! MORE! But this bill that was passed today gave her hope once more that we could all work together, and fight for the only place we can call home. After all, it's not like we have another one to go to, is it?
at 12:23 p.m.