Here is a working theory: we have a hard time understanding climate change because of our inner rhythm.
Now, bare with me.
Our whole life is a groove. As soon as we are born we fall into a series of ritual, or rhythms that take place in a sequential way. So, birth, and already, we are doing our first step, proceeding towards our first sentence. After that comes the time when we shed our skin as a baby to become a toddler. That toddler will eventually go to school with his little colleagues, another very important step. And the child learns to read, count, draw, make friends, etc… He/she forges her/his first skills. Then puberty, then graduation, then college, learning a job, finding a mate, making a baby. Ah!
Let’s pause for a second.
Here we are. We make a child. That’s one loop! We start as babies (No jokes intended), and we then have babies. That’s the cycle of life. A groove is established. We will see the child go through the same steps we went through. Even if it is not exactly what we have lived, there are enough similarities to make a pattern out of it. A pattern, meaning a rhythm, a rhythm, meaning a groove. Here we go. The musician in us savors the symphony of life. Everything comes, everything goes.
Sorry to startle you, but we have an almost impossible time conceiving ourselves dead. Death is the non-us, the stuff that will make us not exist. And even for the ones who believe in afterlife, there are no steps in heaven, not like the first tooth or the first day of school, etc.. At least none that we see in our daily life.
Climate change is death. We are talking about a mass extinction so big, the last one like that happened 250 million years ago.
It is, literally inconceivable. Death of a species is definitive. That’s it, that species is gone, it won’t come back. Ever. Done and done. How can we understand that? We look outside the window: grass on the ground, birds singing, peace in the streets, shops are open for business. Nothing to see here, it will go on like this until the end of time.
Unfortunately, no. It will not. Nature is not to be messed with. Humanity owes a growing tab to planet earth. There will be a time to pay. No cycle in that! No rhythm, no pattern… No groove anymore. In one word, no life. It goes against the very core of our existence.
And, for the record, I think it was very stupid to get out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Because we will not always have Paris.