I’m Afraid

I’m afraid of climate change. Not for the loss of life and property in floods. Not for the rising prices and stifling drought and heat. What I’m afraid of is how people are going to react when their world starts getting smaller and having less. What is the breaking point?

People afraid of losing things are most dangerous people.

I worry there will be a “war for resources” in the coming decades. We’re seeing precursors now with Russia/Ukraine war and the impending food crisis that is generating. We’re seeing it in the US Southwest water crisis. The Yellowstone floods. Crop shortages from too much and too little rain have started.

I’m afraid of doing nothing about climate change, and I’m afraid of doing the wrong thing while trying to do the right thing.

People afraid of losing things are rarely reasonable people. People who have lost everything, even less so.

I worry that there will be an influx of refugees, and that people who consider that region “theirs” will begin to reject the refugees, and there will be forms of civil war all over.

People who don’t have the basics of living like fresh water and food staples are dangerously motivated. 

Maybe it will all be fine. Maybe I’m worrying over nothing. Maybe 96% of the involved scientists are wrong, and this will take care of itself.  Maybe those climate people are right, but we can’t do anything about it. Maybe it isn’t “created by man”.  Maybe there’s “nothing I can do” because I don’t know what I can do. Maybe I am so apathetic that I don’t really care about any of this. Maybe I just love a cheeseburger and so what and fuck you!?

Or maybe it is just too damn big. Planet-sized in fact! Maybe we are just too damned scared, to take action.

It is the greatest of all mistakes, to do nothing because you can only do little: but there are men who are always clamouring for immediate and stupendous effects…”

Sydney Smith, 1806 

I’m afraid of what life will be like when my children are my age, and of what they’ll think when they look back and try to remember if I did anything to try to stop this.

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