As a human being living his everyday life, I find it very surreal
working on global warming. It’s as if the scientists have all told us
quite clearly that Earth will be hit with a large meteorite, but people
go about their lives as per normal. People accept the information but
have chosen not to award it any emotional weight. The streets are quiet.
As for our politicians, instead of sending Bruce Willis or Clint
Eastward on an urgent mission to space to blow up the
meteorite, they too act like it isn’t actually happening. Sure, they’ll
say that we should really deal with that whole meteorite thing, but then
they will argue that it would be very expensive to send Bruce or Clint
up there, or they’ll blame other politicians for ignoring the threat for
so long. The result is that the meteorite keeps coming.
Meanwhile, pollsters tell people like me to stay away from the kind of
apocalyptic language on display in the past two paragraphs — even
though it’s true. It’s too debilitating, they say, and turns ordinary
people away from action. This is also true.
So, are we humans destined to be trapped in a fatal catch-22 of carbon?
Will we leap lemming-like over the cliff we all know is coming? (Even
more embarrassing to our species is the fact that lemmings don’t
actually do this, so we’re alone in our defect.)
*What parents owe their kids*
Some believe we’ll only break out of this conundrum with more
Katrina-like events that dramatically shake public confidence in our
collective and individual security. Science tells us that such events
will indeed come, but it would be unconscionable to sit back and wait
for this to unfold.
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A few months ago we joined together with ForestEthics
and approached the communications company
zig to help us with some kind of tool that
could begin to break us out of this communications dilemma. It’s a
critical time to do this now since a major UN climate summit will take
place in Copenhagen in December — and the Canadian government is
currently on track to play a spoiler role, blinded by tar sands greed.
Together, we zeroed in on the parent-child relationship as a powerful
motivator for action, in particular because kids alive today will have
to live through the worst consequences of global warming if their
parents do not collectively act to change our course. Our kids could
inherit the equivalent of Katrina times a hundred, and no parent wants
to think they were responsible for making that kind of future happen
through his or her inaction.
*Watch the PSA, join the moms*
An amazing project began to unfold. The people at zig donated their time
to produce a public service announcement (PSA), and then so did over a
hundred actors, crew, editors, and musicians. The result is the piece
you can view above.
Out of the same creative process grew an initiative called Moms Against
Climate Change that asks parents
across Canada to upload pictures of their kids in order to remind Prime
Minister Harper who he’ll be representing in Copenhagen.
One PSA alone can’t break us out of the carbon catch-22, but it will be
interesting to see how parents respond to it in the coming weeks. The
piece depicts a global warming demonstration by kids, which takes us
back to the surreal nature of the whole issue — that, based on the
facts of climate change, this kind of action should be happening in our
streets on a daily basis.