Saturday, 31 March 2012

Pondering on Climate Change

Freezing weather in the state of New York

Is the Weather out to get Us?!

It’s a  bizarre sounding question I know, but bear with me a minute here. You see in the world of academia [where I primarily exist these days] there has been this shift of ‘securitization’.The best way to explain what securitization is is by quoting Barry Buzan; making something a security issue means it “is presented as an existential threat, requiring emergency measure and justifying actions outside the normal bounds of political procedure” (Buzan et al, 1998, p. 23). If you or I were labeled a security threat that would mean that all violations to our human rights are acceptable, they can listen to your phone conversation, read your [e-]mail and bust in on you while you are in the shower, arrest you and take you somewhere where not even God himself will find you. How does this relate to the weather you ask? Climate and the way it is changing is being portrayed more and more as a security threat, and after all weather is what you see but climate is what drives is.  

This event is not occurring just in academia. In everyday life the changing climate of our planet is being labeled “dangerous”. It is stages as a threat that needs to be eradicated.But how are we to save mankind for Climate Change? Well I would love to tell you but that is usually a step too far for these beacons of security. All they really do is scream “DANGER, DANGER!”
You don’t believe me? Here is an example:
In a newspaper article Professor Anthony Costello says that:
“Climate change is the biggest threat to human health” that is it a “clear and present danger…that is affecting billions of people!” (The Times Online May 14th 2009, Sam Lister) The article continues in a similar tone telling us how we need to do something now to secure humanity’s future.

Why are we so scared of Climate Change?  

This is why
Property Destruction from Sever Storms in the USA
By this stage our heads are SO full of the fear that this monstrous climate change poses that we will gobble up anything that will be fed to us as a solution. We will buy electric cars, recycle, buy organic products, wear hemp and pray to Gaia in the hope that we are saved! 

Now before you label me a climate change sceptic let me make one point PERFECTLY clear! I am NOT disputing that Climate Change carries huge costs to humanity, the pictures above show that only too strongly. I am also NOT disputing that being more responsible with your consumption of transport and other goods as well as recycling is going to make a change. All those are things that we should all do. I am disputing however the use of a language of fear, crisis, insecurity, and panic. It is hardly going to deal with the problem by making people run for the hills, or buy products labeled “environmentally friendly”! With all due respect to  ALL the professors out there, we need a language of awareness and empathy.

I know what you are thinking, oh god not another one of them hippies that is gonna tell me to go hug everyone and it will all be better. Don’t worry although I am an idealist I am a pessimistic one, it balances it all out that way, although this is gonna get heavy from here on! What I mean is knowing what we are doing, and trying to change it out of pure empathy towards the harm those actions have done. And lets face it:

Our actions have caused: Destitution, Hunger, Shame, Pain, Fear, Loss, and Death.
Sever Famine and Overindulgence

So when I say awareness I mean making people aware of how their actions cause the above, but not just that. Making people aware of the simple facts; not just of the dangers that the changing climate poses to us, but our part is creating this danger. Some ugly truths about the highly consumerist, self-centred individualistic nature of many communities need to come out so that we do not have to see pictures as the ones on the right or underneath. This needs to be done in a way that does not point the finger of blame and try and shame us into action. We need to understand WHY we need to change our actions. And here is where the empathy kicks in.

Sever Flooding

We are all despite our many and wonderful differences the same at the core of us. We generally do not want to see people suffering as the mother and child are above. Even though we have do not know these people we feel a deep sadness and an urge to help in any way we can, we empathise, because despite everything else they are like us. Making us aware of the harm our western culture produces in developing and underdeveloped regions will hopefully make that empathic instinct kick in on a larger scale. It will make us understand that we are literally the cause of those starving and dying children, and as members of mankind we have a responsibility to stop it, now!

Our greed, gluttony, consumerism, selfishness, and most and worst of all apathy is slowly choking the life out of our planet and many of the people on it, and our planet will in turn return the favour.

I am going to start the awareness process with the video below. I dare you to watch it and throw out perfectly good food!

We only have one Earth please look after it!


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