There is no Planet B. Well, there may be for Richard Branson and a handful of others. But there is no Planet B for you and I. And quite soon there won’t be a habitable Planet A. Death Valley’s 130 degrees F (54.4 degrees C) is not the name of a song. It is the reality of hot-hot. If you don’t believe it, head for Greenland. Don’t take your snowshoes because the snow is rapidly disappearing. So is the ice, at a rate never even dreamt of five years ago. Or even two. Your first experience of all this may be a soggy sitting room carpet when the sea rises near your home.
In politics you use the issues that will rally your faithful, not necessarily the issues that truly matter. So Joe Biden is taking a bit of a risk to throw his weight behind the climate as his main flagpole. Many Americans deny climate change, President Trump included. Presumably convinced that installing an air-con unit makes it go away, they believe that adaptation and change is for the birds. So well done President-in-waiting Biden. I admire and applaud you thoroughly.
The dirge of Covid-19 is still with us and will be for some time yet. The second wave is only a precursor to the third wave, and that to the fourth and so on. We hope to have a vaccine by perhaps mid-2021. We still mysteriously believe in herd immunity even though it has proved to be a myth. In the end we will accommodate Covid-19 in whatever form it persists just as we have done with ‘flu. But we do so want the masks to come off and to be able to hug again.
When President Biden takes office he will have to address the idiocies of the Trump era, for example, by reinstating the USA support for the WHO. In addition, he must attend to the climate that has won him his place in world history. The latter may be the more difficult. Politically, we all want the climate problem to be solved but don’t see that it has something to do with us personally. Remember the real estate message NIMBY (not in my back yard) delivered so forcefully when anyone suggested a wind turbine nearby? We shall soon have NOMH (not on my horizon) for any climate-modifying structure, followed by NOAH (not on anyone’s horizon).
Humankind is very territorial and we are saddled with a world political system of territory-protecting government that perpetuates our natural tendency to selfishness. Our behavior over a possible coronavirus vaccine displays that clearly. Our Politicians have done what they could given their primary remit is the safety of their citizens. Our Religious have been unaccountably and uncharacteristically silent. Our Big Business have broadly done the right thing and developed service to satisfy the demands of the people. Our Conservationists have done magnificently well to convince Biden that a climate ticket will work, even in the United States.
So who is missing from the equation? Well, to be honest, you and I. We are not yet bringing enough of our political clout or as much of our practical support as we can to the climate issue. Many are making real efforts, as we know, but the push now required is much greater than we expected. And it is needed much sooner than we anticipated. What can be the first step to making that extra contribution to survival?
The nonsense of not interfering in another country’s politics should be well and truly over. We are a global world on the brink of self-annihilation. We must think globally to succeed. That means that every one of us should write to our American friends begging them to elect Biden as President and set about restoring sanity and policies that will help to sustain the planet. Every one of us should also write to President Xi seeking better contact and trade with China and between China and the rest of the world. If President Xi receives one billion letters he will pay attention to them.
If you are doubtful about my suggestion, I quite understand. But can I then ask you to give me some alternatives that we – you and I – can do to mitigate the present impasse between the nationalists and the globalists.
To do nothing is to connive at the murder of your heirs and successors.
I’m sure you don’t want to do that.