Humans, despite being the brainiest species ever to have lived, have an amazing penchant for getting bored by the very information that would keep them alive. Dismissing Climate Change warnings by climate scientists is like deer getting sick and tired of hearing wolves howling in the night and deciding to ignore the disturbing sounds altogether.
Yet the numbers—the number of carbon dioxide molecules in our atmosphere in parts per million (as of today it’s) and the number of inches our oceans are rising—keep climbing and most people still continue business as usual.
Climate Change presents some of the most intractable problems we face and some of these problems will be made insoluble if we don’t prioritize them. For example, if we keep responding to extreme weather in the same way we’ve done historically, we are never going to rebuild our homes in the aftermath of a deluge, and we’ll probably go broke trying.
As we go further into the Climate Change Bottleneck, where our past environmental abuses get cooked on a warming planet, insurance for flooding and the other consequences of Climate Change will become unsustainable. NOT planning for Climate Change is getting too.
Also, trying to escape regions that are continually experiencing extreme weather and not able to adapt is going to be problematic. Not every place is as inviting and relatively safe from the worst of a quickly warming planet as Rochester:
Ibero-American Action League headquarters last fall to see a mass of humanity. Puerto Rican families who fled an unprecedented island-wide disaster were now looking for basic necessities like clothing, bedding or household goods in a city miles from home. They’d come from neighborhoods either destroyed or maimed by Hurricane Maria, and many had been living in Puerto Rico without running water or electricity for months before deciding to leave. Some had family in Rochester, others did not. Most came with essentially their clothes on their backs. (September 20, 2018) [more on in our area]Sonia Burgos remembers her first few days working in the midst of hundreds of families who came to Monroe County with nothing. Burgos, a retired Rochester resident who came to the U.S. from Puerto Rico with her family at age 3, walked into the
It is more likely that the ‘new reality’ of Climate Change will not be as onerous if we plan wisely, adapt, and prevent more warming than if we continue business as usual. Humanity can change; we don’t have to keep doing the same things that don’t work.