So, I've bought a classic car. A Mustang '66 GT Notchback, to be exact.
It's original, authentic - only the radio/cassette is a replica. Oh, and the auto has been swapped out for a smooth 5-speed manual. With V8 power to burn, it's an exciting drive that's quite the handful. Fortunately, I'm up to the task.
Mid-life crisis or mid-life epiphany?
Preferring the latter doesn't preclude the former. Either way, I'm enjoying the experience. It's my big, grunty 'UP THE WORLD' muscle car. It's a statement. And that statement is? I'm old enough and ugly enough to do what I want.
But here's the thing. When you do what I've just done you make a lot of folk smile, but it appears it annoys the bejesus out of others.
If I had a dollar for every time I've heard something negative involving climate change, I'd be easily able to afford the gas to run it. Conversely, if said commenters had a dollar for every one of their brain cells, they'd be lucky to own a skateboard.
There appears to be a new-found fashion for guilt tripping others about their transportation choices. But trying that one on me is a perilous undertaking. I'm not having a bar of it.
How many years have I spent writing about the fact that we're all doomed, and climate change will be exponential once the feedback loops click in? Well, hello! Here we are. Nothing any of us do individually anymore is enough to stop what's unravelling in front of our eyes. Nothing.
Further, when these smug, pretentious (usually) Green supporters start killing my joy I ask them how their kids are doing. Or, if they're planning on having them. Invariably they say they will, or already have.
Rachel Stewart: Fate of Fonterra - don't say you weren't warned
Rachel Stewart: Monty Python or Shakespeare - tragic theatre of the Greens
Rachel Stewart: Get disconnected - you'll find real world again
That's when I tell them I've not had children, rattle off the stats on what impacts human breeding has on global emissions, and maybe they should shut the front door. That goes down like a cup of cold sick. Trust me.
Then I slowly and patiently womansplain that buying a new car is a far worse scenario for the climate than "adopting" an auto-child that needs a forever home, and which already exists in the world – and has done for 50-odd years. That really rips the velcro off of their Tevas.
I also point out that, as it's a classic car, it will predominantly live in storage, and how a condition of my insurance policy is that it's driven no more than 8,000 kilometres per year. How many kilometres do they do? Really? 30,000? Wow.
Basically, these latecomers to the climate change party are suddenly panicking about their looming non-future and they want to start with the blame. Blame everyone else for their contribution to the situation, while knowing diddly squat about how anyone else has lived – and is living - their lives. We are all as guilty as sin.
Here's a wee tip. Try taking out your stress, anger and fear on past and current politicians who have known about the climate crisis for years, and have done nothing of any import or consequence to change it. I don't just mean the deniers. I mean the accepters too.
I'll tell you what. When the people in power all agree to declare WW3 - they won't - on the coming climate apocalypse, that's when I'll ditch my Mustang, meat-eating, pet-owning, and flying across the country and the world. You name it. I'll do it.
Of course, having babies would be out too. You okay with that? Nah, didn't think so. And therein lies the rub. The playing field isn't level, and humans have this enormous propensity for hypocrisy.
While logically we know that the resources we need to sustain our lives on this planet – water, food, tolerable temperatures - are finite, we don't seem to grasp how self-interest isn't. If greed was measured in Fly Buys, we all be on our thousandth world trip of a lifetime.
I hate to break it to you, but this is not an egalitarian world. There is no utopia, and thinking this veneer of democracy and voting a certain way will save your sorry derriere, is delusional. We're just another species facing extinction. No more. No less. And, let's face it. While we deserve everything we've got coming, the animals don't.
I guess after years of pointing out the obvious, I'm done. The realisation that I was howling forlornly into the cold and lonely wind finally dawned. A Mustang was in order.
Now I'll smilingly ride the byways and highways dreaming of a time when life was simpler, classier, and anything seemed possible. I'll listen to country music and the twang of banjos, and you can judge me all you like. I don't care anymore.
I am woman. Hear me roar.