This article was first published in The Big Smoke on June 30, 2015.
I was in second grade when I first heard of the term “global warming”. A friend and I were poring over maps and wondering about the polar ice caps when someone – it may have been my friend’s elder sister – mentioned it to us. The earth is warming because there is more CO2 in the environment, eventually it will cause the polar ice caps to melt, and the earth will be submerged. I didn’t find it a very difficult concept to grasp. (Yes, I was a terrifyingly bright kid.)
My seven-year-old self thought it entirely plausible. I wondered how long it would take. I was absolutely convinced that that I’d have nothing to worry about during my lifetime. I also figured at least four generations after me would be safe. I bandied a few numbers around and decided that five million years is how long it would take for humanity to be in peril, and calmly went back to finding Poland in the Atlas.
I guess I wasn’t that bright a kid after all, because here I am ,all of 35, reading about how the earth is on the brink of a sixth mass extinction event thanks to climate change (the term into which “global warming” has morphed). The article didn’t arrive on my FB newsfeeds via Global Green & Left Fortnightly. No, it can be sourced to Washington Post and it has forced me to contend with the fact that I am doing next to nothing in this fight for the very survival of our planet – of our beautiful, bountiful, gorgeously green, blue and pink planet.
Read more at The Big Smoke