Here we are in the middle of what is, in all probability, the most threatening event in the history of the human race. It is usually called global warming or climate change but these are mere euphemisms. A more accurate name could be the “polluting and scorching of the entire planet making it uninhabitable for the human race.”
But if it’s really that bad why aren’t we doing anything about it, and why are there still so many skeptics? There are many of reasons for the believers’ inaction and the deniers’ skepticism but one of the primary reasons is that this is a problem in which the worst consequences won’t be seen for another 100 years or more.
While it is true that some effects are already observable, even these effects are only noticeable when looking at the big picture. Last year was tied for the hottest year in the record books (tied with 2004), which began in 1880, but most people probably didn’t notice any difference. There are droughts, snowstorms, hurricanes, and monsoons every year and only by looking at long term records will we notice that they’re becoming more common and more severe.
Even as a “polluting and scorching of the entire planet making it uninhabitable for the human race” believer and activist it is hard for me to stay focused on these currently subtle dangers. First a little bit about me:
Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about human rights. I find the gross violation of human right around the world unacceptable. I read a book that emphasized the power that Americans have in politics and how much we can influence policy. Consequently, I realized that I needed to do something to try and pressure our government and other governments around the world to stop their human rights violations.
So I got involved; I didn’t need a lot of convincing. A few weeks later I started an Amnesty International chapter at my university (University of New Mexico). This was a little over a year ago and now I am proud to call myself a social justice activist.
And then I began to realize the implications of the “polluting and scorching of the entire planet making it uninhabitable for the human race” and what it would mean for human rights. That’s when I really began to get involved with this issue.
But just as I mentioned above, the worst effects of the “polluting and scorching of the entire planet making it uninhabitable for the human race” won’t be seen for another century or more. On the other hand, I can open up the newspaper and read about human rights disasters that are occurring now, all over the world. And, obviously, I want to stop these violations.
While I don’t have an answer to fix this dilemma I just want to remind you (and me too) that we need to stay focused. We must remember that the “polluting and scorching of the entire planet making it uninhabitable for the human race” is the most urgent issue even if it’s not as noticeable as the persecution of gays and lesbians all over the planet, the death of tens of thousands from poverty everyday, or the torture of political prisoners. However, I have no doubt that human rights violations will substantially increase when the soot really hits the fan.