45 is a weird age. It’s an in-between time in life. You’re not young enough to chat up young woman anymore without getting slapped (or arrested) but at the same time you can’t claim to be old enough to relieve yourself in public without creating offense.
As a child, I hated it when people would say, “Life begins at 40.” What bullshit… I thought. 40 was the arse end of life to me. Yeah, I was a dumb kid. Followed by a dumb twenty year old and a dumb thirty… you get the picture. But looking back now I think to myself, yeah, that statement was probably true.
It’s safe to say that I’d meandered through my previous 40 odd years oblivious to life in many ways. When I was five, I didn’t know my parents were about to separate until the divorce came through and we were off to live with grandma in a house that smelt like cat piss. And it wasn’t until I was thirty that I finally realised the real reason that Debbie Fincher gave me her chocolate bar in primary school was because she liked me. And boy did Debbie grow up to be a looker. She’s married now with three kids. Her husbands a marine so probably best to drop the subject.
Anyway, heading north of 40 has made me evolve in some ways. Many things that seemed irrelevant to me (like planning trip itineraries based on where toilets were located) suddenly became important. One thing that has risen to the forefront of my mind over the last few years, and something that I am now wide awake to, is the spectre of climate change.
Now I may be a little more sensitive than most people my age (or maybe not – as a teacher I hang around children all day who think farting is high entertainment and that their nose is for breakfasting out of). I have a loving wife and two strapping boys about to hit middle school. It’s this last nugget of information that hangs heavy over my mind. My boys are growing up into a world where everything is overdone. We are over farming, over deforesting the rainforest, over using the planets resources, and over doing the use of the word over. The last one is especially heinous. The long and short of it is that our planet is running out of resources faster than my pay check runs out when my wife gets hold of it.
But this is only part of our problem. The huge increase in population and the increased pressure this puts on our planets natural resources is changing the climate we live in.
Now, if you live in the vast snowy wilds of Antarctica the idea of being able to skinny dip in tropical (and Leopard Seal free – hey, I’ve seen Happy Feet) waters in the depths of winter right on your own doorstep may seem like an enticing proposition. But to the rest of us the idea of increased rainfall, fiercer and more prolonged storms, the wholesale extinction of wildlife, and London becoming a beach front city, do not fill us with joy.
The fact of the matter is, despite what you hear from certain parts of society, climate change is here. It is already happening. And it is changing our world. Average temperatures across the planet have risen by 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century. Greenland has lost an average of 286 billion tons of ice per year between 1993 and 2016, while Antarctica lost about 127 billion tons of ice per year during the same period. Global sea levels have risen about 8 inches alone in the last century. More than One million species of animals’ face extinction, with dozens becoming extinct each and every day. These are the facts and they are not in the slightest bit funny.
But there are still people out there that argue that these facts are not actually facts but are in fact un-factual. More often than not these people are invested in climate change in some way, whether that be through their business dealings, employment, political position, or membership to the stupidity club. Take the current President of the United States for example, Donald Trump. Here is a man who has more than a few fingers in each of these climate change pies, although many would argue that he has more than just a finger in the stupidity one (anybody else seen American Pie?). Trump has constantly denied that climate change is a reality and will attack anybody who says otherwise using his highly entertaining Twitter feed (seriously a comedian couldn’t write tweets any funnier).
According to him:
“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”
Just think about that statement for a moment. The Chinese created global warming to make our workers in the manufacturing industries less productive and competitive That’s like accusing France of creating garlic to make vampires indifferent to the process of drinking blood. This type of comment is not unusual though and is only a tiny example of how the man who pulled the US out of the Paris Accord mind works.
At the end of the day, however, it won’t be people like Trump, or even myself at the grand old age of 45, who will have to deal with global warming. It’s our children and grandchildren that will bear the full brunt of our neglect. That’s why it’s important for us to act now. Forget senile old men like Donald Trump and start thinking about how you can impact climate change for the better. Future generations will thank you for it.