Who Even Knows?

How should we think about climate change?

I frequently feel a constant underlying panic about the current information that’s coming in about climate change. We’re marching steadily towards doomsday — experts are saying we have a mere eleven years before climate change becomes irreversible. And that deadline doesn’t even account for the already irreversible losses we’ve had on Earth: the Great Barrier reef, the polar ice cap, and keystone species.

It’s really easy to start the downward spiral. Once I realized our planet is headed towards another mass extinction, nothing else seemed to matter. Everything seemed tiny in comparison. Instagram? Who cares about liking your selfies when the world is dying. Making art? Using paper… tsk tsk, deforestation is killing us. My mind keeps jumping into action mode and panic mode: how do we fix this? What if we can’t fix this? And on and on and on.

The reason I’m anxious is because I care. I know I have no control over whether our population is meant to live this long. Maybe this mass extinction is what our world needs to refresh, maybe humans weren’t meant to make it this long and dying off is just part of the circle of life. The Earth is such a tiny spec in this galaxy, and humans are even tinier. Though our existence feels like a big deal, it really isn’t if you zoom out far enough. Maybe this is fate, or karma, or destiny.

But it’s scary. Climate change is not causing minor inconveniences. It’s causing deaths, mass migration, power struggles for resources, and extreme natural disasters. Although some people are safer than others because of hierarchies built into our societies, no one is truly safe.

This post really holds true to the point of this blog. There is no right answer. And frankly, I don’t think there is an answer at all. I have yet to find one that I like. When I try to think about ways to slow the march towards our eleven year deadline, I can feel my anxiety levels rising. When I try to calm myself by zooming out and remembering how insignificant humans really are in the big picture, I feel guilty because I’m letting myself distance from the problem, which will lead to no solution.

So I try to ignore some things. I try to ignore the feeling of hopelessness, I try to ignore the voice inside of me telling me that nothing I do will be enough, and instead I try to focus on things I can change. Bringing a thermos to the coffee shop, taking shorter showers, buy from and selling to thrift stores, trying to use less plastic in general. Will my efforts help at all? I’m not sure. Will trying soothe my soul a little? Yes.

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