(won’t somebody please think of the polar bears?)
With Saharan dust storms blowing their way over to the UK, and screwing with our atmosphere to arbitrarily oversimplified scale-filling extents – because these ‘tens’ are really what the Kyoto Protocol specifically set out to stop – I have had a depressingly unproductive day. Having taken the unusual decision to not go into school, as I had no lessons today, I tried to complete all of my revision notes for this Summer’s exams, a full two months before the exams themselves. And I failed, getting this close in the process.
I have just two modules left, one of half of the English and Geography courses respectively, and my dad reckons my lack of productivity – I fell asleep at four for about three hours, and haven’t been able to regain sufficient consciousness to write a coherent blog post – could be due to the polluted air which, y’know undermines breathing, and therefore all human actions.
I’m not saying these events have made me realise the horrendous consequences of global warming – I’ve studied them in school, and know a few things about them – or that it can impact us individually, and in the immediate term, but they made me realise how annoying global warming is going to be for some of us.
While others will perish in tsunamis, or die from starvation as crops fail all over the world, us in the developed world will be left with minor coughs, and work days that run at 80%, not 100%, productivity; frankly, this sort of Purgatory-on-Earth prison of lifelong minor annoyances worries me more than a straight-up apocalypse. I follow the Cole McGrath school of thought, that we should burn ‘half as long, twice as bright’, and so climate change will reduce us to half-smouldering oil lamps or waning flame that isn’t quite enough to cook a pot of rice.
It’s this hope that kills you; it’s the feeling that you could be so much more productive if things were a little better. Perhaps this is a microcosm of all inequality, both social and environmental, on Earth, that we all want that one break, or that one little advantage, and we feel the rest will fall into place.
And until we get that break, we kinda just float along, hoping for it, and putting up with everything our planet and our societal betters have to throw at us. I suppose that climate change reinforces humanity’s two greatest traits: our potential for optimism, and our ability to put up with so much in pursuit of those ideals.