Is Climate Delay the new Denial? by Nola Kelly

First published by the Metung Science Forum

The rhetoric started with “the climate has always changed” and moved on to “well it does seem to be changing but it is not human induced”, and seems to now have reached “well the climate does appear to be changing and humans may have had some impact but we will deal with it later”. Probably by taking some small actions in 2049. It has come to the point when anyone with a brain capable of analysis, and even a basic level of critical thinking, has finally come to the conclusion that they must accept the science on climate change or risk looking like a total fool. But still we dither, talk about what might be happening, think about exciting new technologies that will save us all, talk some more about perhaps setting some targets into the future, but all the time still actually doing next to nothing.

It has always intrigued me how some of us become captivated by reality TV shows involving such things as cooking or DIY when often none of the skills that may have been learned from the program appear to be translated into our lives. We don’t all of a sudden become gourmet cooks or build that extension with our own two hands. They do however serve a very real purpose – they allow us to live vicariously. We might “feel” like a great cook while watching Masterchef as we eat our takeaway, have a real sense of pride and achievement in that new deck we just helped build by watching and commenting as someone else built it, or even believe we are fitter because we just watched the football. Talking or reading about climate change can become the same, we feel as though we are doing something without actually having to act. As Greta Thunberg would say it becomes “Blah, Blah, Blah” and nothing really changes.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe issues and problems certainly need to be researched and discussed, but once we reach the stage of believing the science, even if we can’t recite all the minute detail, it surely then becomes time for us to act on those beliefs. Put our “money where our mouths are” so to speak. Walk the walk, not just talk the talk! With knowledge comes responsibility. Once we know something we can’t unknow it. Once we become aware of injustice, or wrong doing, or the looming crisis humanity will face in the future if we don’t take steps right now to mitigate it, we are obliged to act. To quote an old saying “If you’re not part of the solution you are part of the problem”.

It might sound trite, but for us to make changes to mitigate the looming disruption that nature will force upon us, our lives actually have to feel different. Business as usual is no longer an option. We all need to do whatever is within our power to act. Install those solar panels, buy an electric car, plants some trees, reduce consumption, lobby a politician, join a demonstration, spread the word and lead by example. Do whatever we can but we need to DO SOMETHING NOW. By acting we can regain our power, feel less helpless, and play a constructive part in the world. Delay is no longer an option and we all have a role to play.