Monday, August 9, 2021

My Own IPCC Report at the Reunion

It's said that one of the most important things anyone can do, personally, about the climate crisis is talk about it, especially with the in-betweeners: people who aren't the hard-core deniers and delayers, but who just aren't thinking about it that much, or who aren't realizing how extreme the situation is.

So I spent some time this weekend doing that at a family reunion. I didn't bother with the increasingly elderly and more-or-less right-wing oldest generation; I concentrated on the Boomers of my generation. They know, but I don't think they live as if they know.

There we were at a gathering that's held annually, with family members who come by car, mostly. Many of the cars are large SUVs. One Gen X cousin got a speeding ticket for going 95mph on the way (he said he was only going that speed for a brief time, while passing other traffic that was going 80 to 85 in a 70mph zone, just after a construction zone had ended, but eek). Some people fly into Chicago and drive up to Wisconsin, or maybe into a Wisconsin airport. Rental cars are involved.

How long can this continue? How is this a metaphor for the carbon-gorged life we all grew up with, which allowed this extended family to stay in touch so closely while moving so far away from each other?

And while I talked about how the Southwest U.S. will have no water as the Colorado River dries up, or Florida will be flooded, or that none of us who has had a relatively cushy life so far has the right to cop out and say there's no hope now while the most vulnerable people suffer the most the soonest, I knew I was harshing their mellow, their vacation with their family, their chance to escape for this weekend from whatever their normal life is like in the midst of covid and whatever else is going on. Who would want to talk to me, right?

But I said it anyway.


If you want a good summary of the 42-page IPCC report summary... here's one from Eric Holthaus.

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