COMMENT: If you're familiar with my writing, you'll know I've been doomin' and gloomin' it for eight years now. I'm nothing if not consistent when it comes to the state of the planet.
The latest IPCC report on the climate crisis just means that the scientists have decided to act more like me. In other words, they know the depth of the problem but have finally chosen to not sugar-coat the truth. Where we (may) differ is in the "hope" department.
The report says there's a small window of time to alter our trajectory. Which is, of course, a last-ditch attempt to get politicians and the public to start acting like it's World War III. Because that's what it would take to turn this overloaded, burning, sinking mess of a global ship around.
What makes me think humanity can't achieve stabilisation of warming? How long have you got?
The first sign of how poked we are is the "on the street" silence since the "wildly alarming report" came out. I thought people were in shock and couldn't find the words. Now I realise most don't care.
I started asking folks what they thought, and the most common response was that they hadn't "caught up" with the report. Now, that's interesting because the world's media has been (sort of) covering it. So where do these people get their news? The more I talked to them the more I realised how much reality TV they watch. And how deluded they are. So, there's that.
The report makes it clear it would take a Herculean global effort to solve the climate crisis. Countries, and their governments, would need to be in such a place of pure planetary alignment they could eliminate world hunger, racism, and inequality on their afternoons off.
I mean, the idea all these countries will see the science and act swiftly, decisively and in perfect unison is about as realistic as Donald Trump announcing he's a feminist. It won't happen.
It's not like the world hasn't had decades of alarm bells going off. We can't say we weren't warned. Sure, we've had climate deniers - usually bought and paid for by oil companies - to muddy the waters, but we should've had the collective mental and emotional capacity to see through them and act anyway.
Or was it more convenient to claim confusion, as we drove our stonkin' big gas hogs and rode another jet bound for sunnier climes and tequila with limes. I'm as guilty as you.
What I will say in my/our defence is that in the end it has been, and now definitely is, up to politicians to forget their re-election chances and make something happen. Give us the affordable EVs, the solar panels, the cheap public transport. Stop cuddling up to the corporates - a mere 100 of whom are responsible for 71 per cent of all global emissions, according to a 2017 study.
Sadly, it's become evident that now even these measures will prove to be too little too late. Other commentators are putting an optimistic spin on what could happen. They usually have a business bent and believe that, given the right market incentives, a massive transformation could take place. And that's possible, but unlikely.
Hope is useful. It keeps us going, and preserves a measure of mental health. Without it, we suffer enormously. Have I given up hope? Yes, some time ago. Do I feel better for it? In a weird way, I do. It's a relief of sorts. Not because I don't need to try any more - I'll always push for action - but because accepting the blindingly obvious feels more real, and breeds another emotion that will be useful in the days ahead.
Bravery. You can go a long way on bravery, courage, heart. It can ensure a clarity of thought, and a willingness to embrace what Buddhists have banged on about for millennia. That is, living in the moment.
Instead of staring at screens, and being constantly distracted, now would be a good a time to truly engage with those you love. To be grateful for what you have, and to try not to feel life's bitter sweetness at every turn. Do the thing that brings you joy.
That's not fatalism. That's acceptance. And if it turns out politicians and/or technology save the planet in the nick of time, like in the movies, then what've you lost? Indeed, think about how much you will have gained.
Must away. I've wildlife to see before they go extinct.
Or I do.