I recently read an article that affected me at a deep enough level I had to share it on Facebook. Like most modern-minded millennials I avoid this social platform, but there are times when it is the best way to share a message that must be heard to a large audience. (I also shared a similar post on Twitter, but I do so regularly.)
The article described with astute accuracy the current environmental situation and its various problems. We’re talking huge problems—the acidification of the ocean, loss of arctic habitat, and mass migration of species in a northern direction to name a few. These are serious issues that are not reversible in many cases.
What infuriates me most is that we knew all of these symptoms would appear. Champions of the environmental movement have been heralding drastic changes to our climate for decades.
My favorite book in high school was Silent Spring. Not because the literary style was particularly striking, but because the legacy of Rachel Carson was so profound. One tiny woman had the power to collect enough knowledge and write it in such a dynamic way as to rock the whole country. Her writing sparked many necessary debates and prompted legislation on the use of pesticides and other chemicals in agriculture.
My personality demands that I not blend in. As a consequence, my identity as a liberal-minded Mainer flourished while I attended conservative boarding school in British Columbia. During that time, I read many books on the environment and food industry (these two are very closely related). These years also saw some of my most outspoken stages. I do not doubt that my liberal rants were irritating at best—with time, I have learned to choose my words more carefully. However, whenever the topic of global climate change came up, I was met with laughs.
I lived up to the clown role well—any role that garners large amounts of attention has its attractions. But the message I wanted my friends to understand was no laughing matter. Global climate change is real. Unless we change how we live now, we will be forced to do so to a greater degree later. Life is a gift to be cherished and used responsibly. If you believe otherwise, the joke’s on you.