I have come to see how writing about environmental issues can be seriously disheartening. I try to research every angle to capture the entire scope of the story. I want readers to be informed and up to date with the issues of today.
Yet after I have the story published I sit there almost wishing I didn’t know these things because once you know, there’s no going back. I find myself caught in the middle between the desire to know more and wanting to living in ignorance of what is to come. The more I know the less of a future I see for myself.
Scientists keep warning us that our future is looking bleaker and less like Star Trek. We are running out of oil, water, precious metals, clean air, and winter jackets for those of us in North America. If we are running out of the things that we count on to support our life then what will be left for us younger generations? How much time do we have? What will the world be like after we’ve drained it?
Andrew Freedman of Mashable wrote about the what we have to look forward to in his assessment of the latest U.N. report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
“The report says that the world is ill-prepared to manage the risks from a changing climate, and that if warming proceeds along the high end of the possible range of outcomes, climate change may overwhelm even the most well-prepared and wealthy nations. It paints a bleak picture of a hotter, more unstable future in which the combination of climate change and population growth combine to overwhelm the capacity of natural and human systems, resulting in increased poverty, conflict, and species extinction.”
The YOLO and Facebook generation is not prepared for the horrors that lay in front of us. The Western world has always had whatever they wanted, when they wanted it. Yet with climate change looming over us it will be the younger generations that may see their beloved nation all but disappear.
History has taught us that empires rise and fall, that nothing is forever. But it is not the Huns or a stronger civilization that is coming to destroy us; it’s Mother Nature. All that we have accomplished in science, art, and culture is now being threatened by what we can no longer control.
“Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” Rajendra K. Pachauri Chairman of IPCC once said.
I think there is a part of us that hopes that some alien species will be able to rescue us or that we will somehow find a way to journey into deep space for a new home. Though reality is setting in and it is becoming clearer that we are going to have to adapt to our new surroundings.