CLIMATE CHANGE: TOO LATE FOR TEARS
It’s not often you see a politician cry… an event rarer than the eruption of hens' teeth.
But today they are all crying, all across the world.
They tell us they have failed us. They tell us they are sorry. They tell us there are no adequate words to express their remorse. They tell us they have no excuses.
One hundred and twenty million are already dead and the figure rises by the minute. Two hundred million are displaced.
Once the melting of the polar ice-caps reached the tipping point there was simply no stopping it, no matter what we did.
Sea levels have risen an average of 12 feet across the globe in the last forty days.
Oh, the politicians cry and cry and cry. In our living rooms, they plead from our TVs, eyes brimming with salty tears, “We are so very, very sorry.”
And what is our reaction this day?
It should be anger, should it not? But what good is anger to us now?
It was the spineless predecessors of the pathetic men and women in dark business suits who are crying now that let us down. The many yellow-bellied, courage-poor, ego-rich political operators who came before them. The well-heeled, self-obsessed, politically-cunning generations of elites who opted for power, wealth and influence over the interests of the rest of us. They had, each and every one of them, by default, allowed this to happen.
There had been warnings aplenty. Many academic and scientific careers had been built upon them. But of course, there was never a right time, a convenient time, a good time… to heed them. There was always some very good reason not to act. There was always the easier option, to give lip service to the need for action, or worse still, to actively oppose it. There were always plenty of political, corporate and other vested interests that made it only too easy to convince them all that it would be political and economic suicide to act.
Virtual murder was the result.
Underlying everything that was occurring were the pressure groups who had lobbied constantly for inaction. Who lobbied for ever less constraint or oversight on business and who only ever pushed for greater and greater growth. And as a byproduct greater and greater pollution of our atmosphere.
The greatest measure of anger was therefore directed at to them. They who, behind the scenes had used their greatest bargaining chip, which was their money, to twist the arm of all politicians susceptible to the bribe of election funding or the blackmail of bad PR.
How happy they must feel now that the several zeros they managed to add to their already huge bank accounts are safe and sound. Not that they can ever spend that money now. There’s not a beach left, exclusive or otherwise, not the beaches we used to enjoy. The new beaches would hardly attract a single tourist. Mounds of debris litter the new coastlines far inland deep into the heart of every coastal city. Such ugliness is the norm everywhere which will certainly attract no high rollers anxious to spend their now almost useless fortunes.
The pawns of power, the politicians plead day and night for understanding and point at the pseudo-scientific reports they used to read to bolster their inaction. Reports saying climate change was a myth, a lie, a plot. They found reasons to delay and minimise their response. It was convenient to do so. More employment means more votes. Economic growth brings more employment. Deregulating businesses means increasing profits, a greater percentage is given to fund politicians. The interests of big business are therefore vital. Besides, they bring jobs. And what do jobs bring? Votes, yes. Economic growth, more this more that, infrastructure, factories and endlessly greater consumption. It must all spiral ever higher and if it doesn’t it all begins to spiral down, to decay and votes vanish along with the funding.
It was all very simple for them. Then.
Now it hardly seems to matter. We are all simply numb. We can’t take it in. We have reached the ultimate end of the business cycle and quite possibly humanity’s life cycle.
Somehow, subconsciously, we thought we were headed to a material paradise. Instead, we ended up in an environmental equivalent of a sewage plant. And, not to put too fine a point on it, it stinks… literally.
It doesn’t help a bit that all the moneyed sceptics and pseudo-christian naysayers have their jaws on the floor. Or that the politicians are bawling like babies. It doesn’t help at all.
The sceptics are all contrite as hell, begging us to see how they were honestly mistaken.
But we have not the slightest interest in their words.
It is all far, far too late... too late even for tears.