Well, it sounds like we’re all doomed. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report yesterday stating that climate disaster is inevitable unless nations take drastic measures right now to cut their carbon-emissions. Otherwise we can look forward to even hotter heat waves, food shortages, and more infectious diseases.
I would expect a report like this to generate all kinds of activity to do something, anything to stave off the earth’s demise. I read about it in the news. I hear about it on TV. But I personally don’t see many worried about this. The roads are filled with more semis, pickup trucks and SUVs than ever. Okay, I see a few more electric cars than I used to. But not enough to make much of a difference. I don’t see roofs covered with solar panels. The long line of cars dropping off and picking up students from schools means that most students aren’t taking the bus. Hardly any of the food I buy is grown locally. It’s all from far away places. Oil companies are still investing in fossil fuel production. Power plants are still burning coal.
Maybe I shouldn’t worry that much about it, either. I’m just one person on a planet with 7.9 billion people. What would or could I do to make a difference?
I know, that’s not a very good attitude. I know that my vote always counts in an election. I know that my acts of kindness have a ripple effect in the lives around me. My presence in the world does affect the lives of others. Plus, my faith includes taking care of the creation in which I live.
I would love to put solar panels on my roof. But there are too many trees on the lots around my house. Until those lots are sold and there’s less shade, I’m out of luck.
I’d buy an electric car. If I could afford one. And if I knew that the power to run one came from a clean energy source, which it probably doesn’t.
I could grow more of my own food at home. However, my gardens haven’t exactly produced bumper crops to date. Gardening in Florida has been challenging.
I could buy less stuff and have less delivered to my home. Or at least combine orders for fewer deliveries each week. Less stuff would also cut down on my trips to the thrift store when we get rid of everything we’re not using.
I could ride my bike more often. To the library, to the gym, and even for a few groceries. That’s the most doable idea I’ve come up with. Other than recycling, and I already recycle everything I can in our community.
So I guess I can choose to be powerless or recognize the power I have in this world.