We Can’t Fix Climate Change, We Have To Learn To Survive Climate Change
In the past few days a huge, long lasting and incredibly damaging hurricane, Ian, crawled across Florida wreaking destruction. It is just one of the extreme weather events taking place across the planet on a daily basis.
These highly visible storms, fires, and floods are just one aspect of the new reality. Long term droughts, water shortages, and even pandemics can all be related to warming. Invisible changes like the massive release of methane from thawing peat bogs will accelerate these effects.
The key phrase there is ‘the new reality’. It is real, it’s not going away, and it is evolving rapidly in unpredictable ways. But many of the efforts to deal with it revolve around a fantasy that we can somehow return things to the old normal. It’s not only far too late for that, but there are powers out there that are working hard to keep things as they are, for short term profit.
Rebuilding a state that may cease to exist in decades is a ridiculous waste of resources, but we will do it. Maybe what we should be doing is imagining a way to live in this new reality.
We are going to have to, but it will likely take place on an individual ad hoc basis as some of us make decisions that are not based on wishful thinking.
Yes, you dreamed of that condo in a warm place near the ocean. You can dream all you want but the reality now is what is taking place in Florida. That dream of retirement heaven comes with one big catch- it could all end in a moment, and for many this week, it has.
We’re in the denial phase of our grief for what was. Rebuilding is fed by that denial, by the unfounded belief that it won’t happen again, evidence notwithstanding. Places that were hot are getting hotter. Places that were dry are getting dryer. I live in a place that gets cold for half the year, but that is changing.
A place like Florida is a fantasy come to life but once we have tasted that fantasy, we have to pretend it won’t change into something we don’t like. Think about statements like those we hear from deniers who moved to the desert southwest: “it’s hot, but it’s dry heat”.