In this era of rapidity changing personal security and safety around the world, planning where to go can be a dilemma. There are many places to see, yet due to world uncertainty, that is shrinking by the day. It is one reason I chose the UK this trip. But that is not the only concern on world travel.
I watched an amazing documentary on HBO recently on how we are literally losing this world. It was entitled, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change. Host Jeff Fox, visited 12 countries to have a look at how climate change is impacting these places.
There is no doubt, in time the terrifying predictions will come to roost as a consequence of mankind’s detrimental actions on the environment. Water levels are rising around the world threatening low-lying coastlines, ocean islands, and cities built along the sea. Forests are being decimated, and 30 to 50% of the Earth’s creatures are set to go extinct by 2036. You have to wonder what will be left to see? And worse, where will people go when faced with land loss?
Some countries are working hard to address the inevitable, but that is a main problem. There is no way to stop the forces of nature that will eventually overpower our best efforts. The cause and outcome are complicated and blame can get spread to many.
It was a bit sad in the show to see indigenous nations battling big oil and coal ships from their hand carved kayaks, fighting for the rights to live off their land and water supplies. Fight they did, some having temporary success. Some helped create protection laws, but as most know, they are only as effective as long as there is compliance. Eventually, regimes change and officials get paid to ignore the concerns of the populace.
The more islands and European coastal cities I visit, the more I fear they may no longer exist for future generations. The map showing land loss in the documentary was quite revealing. Great coastal cities will be severely impacted as world temperatures rise past the 2°F threshold. But when it hits the 2°F threshold, some scientists predict it will soar right past onto 3°, 4° and so on.
Geology.com has an interactive map showing the Netherlands and London facing flooding at various stages of sea level rise with communities, highways, factories, ports, railroads and many types of industry flooded. The US coastline can be clicked on as well. Visiting the Netherlands last year, flood lines were marked and noted everywhere one goes. It is hard to forget what likely lies ahead.
Like the documentary mentioned, it is hard not to think this world has waited far too long to face the climate change onslaught. It said .5° F of CO² emissions have already been released, waiting to add to the warming increase in the near future, and by 2036 the climate temperature will rise by 2° with the window to curtail emissions closing in 2017.
“You can’t stand on shore and stop a wave”, says the narrator. Hurricanes and tornadoes are becoming more fierce in intensity and damage. Other places in severe drought are bringing on civil war. The documentary stated the Syrian civil war and refugee situation was started as a result of five year-long severe drought. Sounds dire, no?
What can we do? Really nothing at this point because the corporate machine (oil, gas, fracking, meat industry and others) is increasing emissions, industrial waste and spills where the problem is out of control. Consumer want is out of control.
The documentary clearly showed the environmental devastation caused by these corporations. Is it their fault? Realistically, no. Fault of desire resides with consumers. The need for the companies to make money is a given, but the draw to own new and better everything is too enticing for consumers.
Mankind just washes away its responsibility… The documentary said “we need a complete overhaul of every human system – politics, food, energy, transportation, media, and all within the next three to four years.” Not going to happen is my guess.
Jeff Fox did go in search of things climate change cannot destroy – our human will and a revolution to bring about change for world betterment. See where he went. This was a very worthwhile documentary to see, but like he said, “It is like eating from the Tree of Knowledge.” What does one do with that knowledge, munch the apple and take a long nap?