Can we really start to hope again that world leaders might really act on climate change?
We have wondered from time to time just how negative we can be on the subject of climate change , and as we watched article after article on the dangers we seriously wondered at times if there was any point.
For me, the low point came during the US election when for some mysterious reason climate change did not get a look in except for inane comments by Mitt Romney.
Fortunately some things kept us buoyed up.The stuff that some many people are doing in their own communities,the finance deals that were funding community solar, the innovation and the action from so many people everywhere from Siberia to New Jersey to Scotland, the leadership that cities have shown in the face of such lack of action by countries, the renewables action in Germany, the refusal of nuclear in Germany and Italy , and the last 5 Year Plan that China released on environmental mitigation .
Then ongoing economic recession, banks doing unspeakable things ,and austerity packages in Greece that are so unbelievably harsh they are actually just stupid created economic damage so great that it seemed to eclipse what we were doing to ourselves and every other species on the planet.
It seemed that as a species we were only able to focus on things that we could see and understand .
The fact that the carbon emissions were largely invisible and that the issue of climate change felt too big and incomprehensible and unable to be dealt with at an individual level seemed to mean that many of us felt like it was more important to focus on the stuff in the intray or getting dinner on. Climate change was, it seemed someone else’s problem. Surely they would deal with it !
But, just as we had been warned( over and over again ) we started to see the impact of extreme weather events happening more frequently and at more extreme temperatures .
So in 2012 the weather became the news in so many places in the world. In 2012 in the US so many temperature and drought records were set it became repetitive .
And then Sandy hit the financial hub of the US. And it just about pipped the election.
But finally within the last week we have had President Obama say climate change has to be addressed, Vice President Joe Biden has said he wants to deal with climate change this term, and John Kerry, also very well informed on climate change, is going to be Secretary of State.
Now the President of the World Bank group-hardly radicals – has said climate change has to be top of the agenda.
Is the weather , which is making climate change so visible so quickly having some real impact?
Australia has been on fire for much of the month and Russia , and Europe and the US have been in the grip of temperatures so low that they make the usual life functions impossible .Cars can’t go. Aeroplanes can’t fly. Even the water in fire hoses freezes. Life as we know it is changing rapidly.
And now that the weather is the news, do we think that perhaps its now so visible that inaction is simply not an option?
Dare we believe that 2013 is a year for action?