The Climate Change in Your Head
We’ve had forty years to get angry about global warming, to point fingers and identify the bad guys while communities burned and homes were swept away. It’s time to stop and reassess, because this thing is real, it’s here, and it’s not going away.
There’s a reason it’s called ‘climate change’. It is constantly evolving and, whether we know it or not, so are we, and fast. Faster than I would have thought possible even a few years ago. Did all our anger change things? Maybe, but more powerful forces worked behind that anger to shove deniers into reality.
Economics, for one. Actually it’s the big one, the reality the fossil fuel people with their bags of money couldn’t gloss over. Two big economic realities, macro and micro, stand out as agents of change.
The macro is (surprise!) the weather. Its severity and the reach of its effects accelerated way beyond those ridiculous schedules the oil people bought to convince us this thing was always on the horizon, never here.
Even they could not stop the weather from storming over that horizon like the fantasy backdrop it always was. The scenario planning scientists working for the oil companies always had the worst case situations in their pockets, never to be revealed. They knew.
No matter. The storms and fires came anyway and they triggered awareness in ways no amount of lobbying could hide. Whole towns burned, cities were devastated, some places dried up and others experienced torrential rain. A lake formed in Death Valley and the Mississippi River dried up, halting vital shipping.
And then economics stepped in and they came from a mundane but critical place, home insurance. And property insurance. I’ll be honest, after years of watching this crazy runaway train, I never saw that coming, yet it has changed the markets across our country and the world.
No insurance, no mortgages. No mortgages and no insurance means those who have it must risk their cash to live in these places. Unless you’re Jeff Bezos with money to burn, you’re not buying (and, as the cliche goes, he did not get rich burning away his money).