This week saw the devastation of American East Coast by hurricane Sandy which tore through houses and buildings, leaving debris and wreckage behind. Many people lost their lives, and New Yorkers couldn’t hep being reminded of the shattering events of 9/11. The reports place the Hurricane as the most catastrophic natural disaster ever recorded in American history.
This follows a decade that saw the number of natural calamities increase dramatically and repeatedly causing worldwide damage to cities in all continents, displacing masses of people and taking thousands of lives. From earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and hurricanes to severe draughts in hotter climates near the earth’s equator, these events have become more common place.
All reputable scientists have agreed on the notion of climate change and our role in increasing global warming causing these horrifying happenings, yet as the issue becomes more political more sceptics are born in paranoid backlash which is not helped by liberal parties like the NDP, Green and Democrats in America pointing the figure at the Conservatives and Republicans in a blame game that surely cannot resolve the issue.
The problem we have which obstructs reaction to climate change from the public is the economic downturn and global recession which has given birth to a new generation of poor working class who are ready to forsake the bigger picture as long as any of the parties promise them jobs and financial prosperity. This is not a unique even in global politics, right wing parties have always emerged and grown in the times of hardship with promises of wealth for their nation, and people, especially the poor and unemployed, have always preferred financial survival to social betterment.
However, this time around we have a bigger issue that is affecting every single living creature on this planet, and climate change will not go away if we fail to react. We, like many countries around the world, have a conservative party in charge. Our leaders are willing to keep their people happy with promises of jobs, and do not realize by doing so they are putting the planet at risk. They talk of debt, economic growth, outsourcing, stronger middle class, yet when it comes to global warming they start going at each other’s throats in hopes that it will distract us, because they need to grow the economy with fuel. Oil dictates how fast a country is growing, and observing China one soon realizes how important producing oil is, and how thirsty for oil a fast growing nation can become.
The best thing liberal parties can do at this time is to downplay the issue of Climate Change. We really do not need another Green Party member lecturing the ordinary public on how to conduct their day to day lives. We have to stop the issue from becoming political, because being burned by political parties over and over again has taught us to be wary of their promises and comments, and like the boy who cried wolf, people stop believing until it is too late.
Power is what politicians hunger for, and even if their ethics and intentions are right and noble, they manage to screw it up when they get into power. People have seen this and experienced this many a time in their lifetime, and this distrust of politicians can end up costing us our lives. We have seen the warmest climates ever recorded in the past decade. We have seen natural disaster after natural disaster occur, yet because Mr Obama stands up and says climate change is an issue, and we need to look for alternative energy resources, we frown, because he is a liberal, because he is a democrat, because he smokes cigarettes and smoked weed at school.
In short, we need solutions now, and no more lectures or finger pointing. Every single person is responsible now, and let us forget indirect democracy because it does not work. We need direct democracy, where every member of society makes a decision for the wellbeing of our lives and our planet.
The artworks in this article are by American painters Thomas Cole and John Singleton Copley who looked into nature for inspiration and found disturbances that were frightening.