You may have noticed that I spend an inordinate amount of time railing against our collective inertia on climate change and the dire consequences of this folly. Naturally, some folks conclude that I am a pessimist, when on the contrary I am an optimist. In my more spiritual moments, few and far between though they be, I am possessed by an uncanny feeling that God, or some other like-minded entity, invented climate change in order to wake us from our slumber. One cataclysm after another is visited upon us, yet we put the alarm on snooze and go back to sleep. The intervals between cataclysms diminish, yet we still manage to snatch a moment of oblivion in between, until the cataclysms overlap! That’s when our latent anxiety rears its ugly head. Deep down inside, we all know the source of our anxiety, but we dare not speak its name, for that would trigger a deep sense of all-pervading guilt. So we go back to sleep, even as the flood waters rise and the fires rage around us.
I guess this is sounding a tad pessimistic isn’t it? But all is not lost. As you could not help but notice during the relentless fires and floods that plagued our unlucky country, in times of strife our humanity emerges from its hibernation. We drag ourselves away from watching all our worldly possessions going up in smoke, or floating off down the river and leap into action and set about saving the things we really care about, which aren’t things at all. They are people and animals and the whole damn world around us!
Which, of course is what we were meant to be do all along, we just needed a little encouragement. We had to watch all our worldly possessions disappear in front of our eyes for us to see how utterly unimportant they really were.
We are in a race against climate collapse. The world is disintegrating around us. We must establish a society based on caring for those in need first, at the same time as dealing with the cause of our plight. We cannot possibly do that at the same time as we go about assiduously accumulating wealth.
The moment of reckoning is upon us.
If we lose this race, chaos and barbarism will surely engulf us all.
If we win this race, we will establish a stable society based on the exchange of good, not goods. Every cataclysm helps us focus on the task at hand. As each new disaster is more intense than the last, it helps us see that momentous change is necessary, and desirable, and that the result could quite possibly be even better than before rampant consumerism ruined our beautiful planet.
I sincerely believe that if we leap out of bed in our undies when the alarm goes off, we have a decent chance of winning that race.
That is why I consider myself an optimist.
BTW – the alarm has gone off!