December 7 marks the start of COP15, one of the great meetings of our time.
It just occurred to me that I am going to turn 40 the day before. And it also struck me that in 2050, milestone of most climate forecast models, my daughters will be about my age now. In Copenhagen, and in the following months, our society might choose to risk denying them the chance of turning 40 in the same relatively peaceful way I do.
Even the skeptics would give climate change a very substantial probability, say more than a 30%, of being serious – and frankly a much lower chance of endangering my children’s existence would be totally inacceptable to me. Don’t I do everything I can, and spend all I can afford, to get them on a sound footing in life? Most parents do the same, of course (hence the outrageous prices of children’s equipment…).
But as a society, we seem willing to take much greater risks – that is, make our children take them.
So I just cannot stand the thought that they will blow out their own forty candles thinking that I didn’t try to make their future safer. I do not see rational alternatives to not engaging.
What can each one of us do? Much more than many suspect:
- Get informed: the more we know, the more we spread that knowledge, the more we help society making the right choices. Start with SAP’s perspective, continue with COP15’s and wikipedia‘s, and then go for other public sources – it is an unsettling ride but also one full of purpose. And of course, check Hopenhagen out.
- Take action. Depending on personal inclinations, there are many meaningful things one can do.
The time is now. Better deserve that slice of 2050 cake.