Getting Into Hot Water
Do I believe in global warming? Absolutely – although for us it won’t result in things getting warmer. For the last two winters, the Gulf Stream has got confused and the winter has been long, dry and hard. I think the theory is that as the Arctic ice melts, it cools the Atlantic. That then messes with the Gulf Stream and we become as chilled as other places on our latitude like Russia and Canada.
Even as the most scientifically ignorant observer, I can see that the weather has gone haywire. Freak weather events are barely freak weather events any more.
I do think, though, that maybe it is just that the earth is on some climatic gyre. Since its creation, the world has been different temperatures. Maybe it is part of the design to swing between ice-ages. People often refer to things being the worst “since records began” – but that record-keeping is all fairly modern.
On the other hand, the world’s population is out of control and consumption of everything has to be taking its toll. The global epidemic of swine-flu was perhaps foiled by science, but another time, humans may not be as well prepared. Things may re-balance in due course.
Mankind is inherently arrogant – building cities below sea-level, building nuclear plants on fault lines – it seems that when disaster strikes we know we should have anticipated it – but we underestimate the force of nature again and again.
My response? I have a vague and half-hearted green agenda. I hope that Scotland will go greener at a structural level. But I am too bound by laziness and selfishness. I used disposable nappies, I use my car daily and I buy imported food. I should have used “real” nappies, the bus and grown my own.
This is probably partly due to the fact that I worked after having children. So there’s a whole other eco-issue. If I stayed in the village all day, I could be as eco-friendly as I wanted, while looking up at the wind turbines on the horizon. Maybe “the good life” is the way forward – but I just don’t see that happening.
However, what I MUST do is make sure my children have the appropriate winter clothing this year… how much do I regret not buying those winter boots!? (They were £45, though… times three… *invisible calculator* …doesn’t bear thinking about…) And it took me three-quarters of the winter to think “WE NEED A SLEDGE!” by which time the country had sold out…
I will be better prepared this time.
And although humans are adept at messing things up, we can also adapt.