April 21 was the 49th annual Earth Day. If you didn’t notice, you’re not the only one.
Earth Day hasn’t had much of a profile in recent years, which is a little odd, considering the effects of climate change are increasingly obvious and scientists are making dire pronouncements about how little time we have left to do something.
Let’s face it, the changes we would have to make in our society to deal with climate change are unpopular, and that’s not just the carbon tax. Using less plastic, burning less fossil fuels—zero would be ideal—giving up gas-guzzling monster trucks in favour of small electric cars.
So, it’s a lot easier to not believe in climate change, because then we don’t have to give up the easy life, cheap items manufactured overseas, and a throwaway society.
Decades ago, experts predicted we would run out of fossil fuels. That hasn’t happened—we’re just digging deeper. At this point, we’ll have destroyed the climate that makes the earth livable before we run out of oil.
The problem seems to be convincing people that something needs to change, both the climate change deniers and the rest of us who are too unmotivated to change.
But if we could convince more people to understand the facts of the situation—like the last five years being the five hottest on record and that Canada is warming twice as fast of the rest of the world—maybe we would be motivated.
But as long as there are those who deny the facts, spreading false claims that fly in the face of reality, it’s going to be hard to convince enough people to instigate change. It’s always easier to believe the option that doesn’t require you to commit.
We can probably survive for a lot longer but this planet isn’t going to be the beautiful place we like to think of it as. Catastrophic climate events are going to be a lot more common, life is going to be a lot harder.
It would be better to start changing now and steer our path into a new way of living, rather than being forced to accept even harsher changes in coming decades.
We won’t destroy the planet. Nature will probably just start over, maybe with insects, after we’ve killed ourselves off.
Let’s not let another Earth Day pass by in silence.