Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Battered and bruised

That's how the west of Britain must be feeling as storm after storm lashes these shores. Many of these storms have been notable events in themselves, but to find ourselves getting lashed again and again would, you think, finally focus politicians' minds on the fact that the effects of climate change are now beginning to make themselves very clear. Extreme weather events are on the rise - as we get lashed, half of America freezes while California is trapped in record drought conditions where there may not be enough water to go around. Australia bakes year after year, and other areas get similarly battered too.

And yet, our government is pressing ahead with fracking. Those who are successfully blocking solar and wind power projects will find it a lot harder to block frackers who have the might of the UK government behind them. Perhaps they'll realise it might have been better all round to have accepted these renewable projects, as their drawbacks seem to pale in comparison to what fracking will bring.

We're now clearly on the brink of a cliff - decades, maybe even just years away from a catastrophic series of events that will change life as we know it. Clearly the weather is going to get more challenging, and so will growing food. We're on the cusp of a mass extinction event and the whole thing just makes me so angry as well as sad and frightened. We've had two decades to come to terms with the fact we're damaging the planet and we've all collectively stuck our heads in the sand over it. But why should my children and your children bear the brunt for our selfishness? And why, even now, are politicans burying their heads in the sand? Ignoring common sense, continuing to peddle an economic system that's based on a deluded notion that you can grow indefinitely, building yet more concrete for ever-growing numbers of people without thinking about the long term consequences?

I once compared this planet to the last days of Krypton in Superman. They too ignored all the warning signs, thought they could meddle with nature without a thought for the consequences. The only problem is, I don't have the skills or the technology to provide my children with an escape route from this madness. Once again I find myself wondering how I ended up on this woe-begotten ride, and whether I will ever be able to find a way off it.

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