Now that summer is here, our climate is once again trying to get us to notice that things aren't right. As I write, southern Alberta is being hit by vicious flooding, creating a state of emergency in Calgary. Thousands displaced. Unimaginable dollars in damage.
What do we do? Sadly, the news feeds and politicians always run the same. After talking about the devastation and the courage people have shown, they talk about human resiliency and our ability to adapt to new changes.
True, but not adequate as a full response.
The news that should be screaming over the airwaves is how to try to stop -- or at least slow down -- the underlying causes of the devastation. Namely, anthropogenic contributions to climate change.
Studying the science, Premier Alison Redford, together with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, are going to rethink our national dependency on fossil fuel and move rapidly to renewable resources. They are going to abandon the boiling cauldron of black crude called the Tar Sands, and the ridiculous attempt to mainline our homemade sludge across the provinces into our pristine coastal waters, shipped off to China. Fracking, the absurd destruction of our drinking water to get natural gas, is made illegal. It's nothing short of a national -- indeed, global -- emergency.
Not a hope in hell. But this hell is not of religious origins. We are stoking the heat ourselves, with the colossal pressure and encouragement of all the corporations that make billions in return for our dependency on fossil fuel, funneling a pittance in revenue to our governments, all the while decaying our democracy. Dumbing down its citizens with the toys offered in return.
And again, the reasons for denial are numerous, with none having to do with our ability not to make such a change. We can make the change, but only by informing ourselves, and then figuring out how to start the revolution that will grab politicians by the scruff of the neck, telling them that this is our government, not theirs. (For some of the most dire news on how our climate is radically changing, listen to Bob Sanford, interviewed recently on CBC's The Current. (Click the audio link to 'Severe flooding in Southern Alberta', with the interview at the 12:38)
The second part -- getting our politicians to act -- will be difficult, but my hope is that our First Nations Chiefs will lead the way. Tell me where we start the protest, and I'll be there. I'd bet that thousands of other Canadians will be there too.
To take another example, David Suzuki has devoted his life to trying to get us to pay attention to our planet. Just a few days ago he wrote a piece about climate change entitled, "We Ignore Scientists at Our Peril". As of this writing, 37 people "Like" it.
Meanwhile, 899 people are discussing the article about Kim Kardashian's name for her baby, with 1,141 comments.
Perhaps we rightly deserve our planet's ire.