Steamed Mussels, Guacamole, and Denial

A climate recipe for disaster.

Elizabeth Grey


Image courtesy of Pixabay.

I might be a witness to our extinction. It seems important to mark the day I realize that.

It’s embarrassing to admit global warming snuck up on me. I know better. But like many Americans luxuriating in the drivel of our everyday lives, I pay scant attention to what’s happening.

I don’t deny that a climate catastrophe is in the making. I understand the emergency. I know something must be done.

I cheer Greta Thunberg. I recycle. I walk instead of driving when I can. I have a water bottle and try to remember to fill it instead of buying plastic ones.

I take global warming more seriously some days than others. Something we don’t hear enough about is the cause Syrian Civil War. There is a great deal of evidence to support that a drought was its catalyst. People in the countryside migrated to cities for water, eventually causing the uprising against al-Assad.

I remember how keenly I felt over the dearth of press about it. Then I forgot.

When it comes to our climate catastrophe, I do just enough to assuage feelings of guilt over it. The rest of my actions are driven by convenience.

I craft my apathy by telling myself that the emergency of global warming — the earth becoming uninhabitable — will happen after the children of my stepsons are born. In my mind, the actual catastrophe doesn’t occur until I am long dead.

That’s the scenario in my mind. I don’t have to tell you that’s not good science. More of my fantasizing goes like this:

Our grandchildren will have to get serious about it, but they will. They’ll sort it out. They’ll have to. When the earth gets too hot, they’ll have to come together and do something.

Our present weather is contradicting me.

A few days ago, I read a report in The New York Times by Catrin Einhorn on the amount of fish that were killed during the recent heatwave in the Pacific Northwest.

I should note that I know a great many people died during the heatwave as well. It is my understanding that few people have air conditioning in the region. I was surprised how many people died, but I…