It’s too damn hot for a clever title.

Disclaimer: I don’t know anything about climate science, beyond what I read in the headlines. However…

As I write this, I’m in London, It’s 930am, and it’s 32 degrees. These three things should not all be true at the same time.

The UK genuinely has no idea how to cope with this. The tabloids, like the Mirror and The Sun (ironically dangerous items in this heat) are saying the temp could rise to 43 degrees, and ‘Britain is MELTING!’ Even the more measured, conservative papers are predicting 38 degrees. As a people, we have no idea how to process this information, because it’s so out of our experience. As a country, this is a scenario that no one saw coming. (Except the Climate scientists and who listens to them).

Britain doesn’t so well with extremes. The buildings are all designed to retain heat. The building I work in cannot even have Air Conditioning installed because the architecture won’t allow it. And if someone had asked the builders about it during construction, I’m sure the response would have been a sarcastic ‘Like you’re ever going to need that.’ Trains aren’t running because the tracks are buckling in the heat. The runway at Luton Airport is closed because the tarmac was melting. Transport for London is telling people not to travel unless absolutely necessary because yes, the trains and buses have AC, but lets not test it too much.

Granted, 38 degrees is a new high, but it’s not a sudden spike. We’ve been creeping towards it every summer. 20 years ago, hitting 30 degrees was newsworthy, now it’s just August.

And lets not forget the other extreme weather. Let’s take flooding, which is becoming an annual event. They’ve been called 100, 200, 500 year floods, but can you still call them that when they happen every other year and are worse each time. Old people are getting irate because when they start saying “I remember the Great Flood of..” they’re interrupted by the grandkid saying, “Yeah, I remember it too, it was last year, I put it on my Insta.”

So it’s definitely happening. Climate Change is a thing. But as loud as the scientists and activists shout that we need to do something, their voices are muffled by the blanket of money and power, people who say that either it’s not happening, or that it’s a natural phenomenon and we can’t do anything about it; the planet will sort itself out, it will all be fine.

The people saying it’s not happening are looking increasingly ostrich-like; head in the sand, ass in the air. Wildfires in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Spain, Portugal. Long term droughts in the western US. Hurricanes in the Atlantic and Typhoons in the Pacific growing more frequent and more devastating. More and more of Greenland, typically covered in glaciers, is becoming green land. So It’s definitely happening.

As much as I’m annoyed by the climate activists like Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain, I agree they have a point. I think their tactics are disruptive and sometimes counterproductive, but they are screaming for people to pay attention. And someone needs to be screaming. I think the climate scientists are somewhat broken by the world’s rampant indifference to their warnings. I saw an article yesterday

Researchers warn that the Atlantic is ‘pretty much dead’

Apparently, there has been a 90% reduction in Plankton over the last few years. Since plankton is the food source for the small fish, who are a food source for the big fish, we should have empty oceans in about 25 years. Dead oceans will lead to dead planet soon enough. What struck me most was the tone of the article. The sense of inevitability, that we could do something to stop it, but as a society, we’re not going to. The scientists are tired of being Cassandra, speaking the truth and never believed. They will take no satisfaction in saying ‘I told you so.’

The problem is money. Right now, some very rich people are making even more money squeezing every drop of oil they can out of the planet. Investing in the Green Economy would mean spending money, and they are Money Hoarders.

We can’t keep dismissing this as something for future generations to deal with, because at the rate we’re going, there aren’t going to be many more generations.

As for the ‘It’s a natural phenomenon that will correct itself’ crowd, I direct your attention to the spring on 2020. Covid was rampant, most of the world went into lockdown. People stopped driving, people stopped flying, people just… Stopped. And the world got a little better for a while. Air quality improved; you could see Mt Everest from the Kathmandu valley, 200km away; There were dolphins and jellyfish in the Venice Canals, the waters crystal clear.

So perhaps the planet will heal itself, but only when we stop hurting it.

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