If you haven’t realised that our world as we know it by all chances will come to an end in around 30–40 years time due to the chaos unleashed by climate change, perhaps you are lucky.
Perhaps you are the unlucky one though. Those of us that have woken up to the bitter end reality may be suffering from anxiety, guilt and sadness, but at the same time something else has woken up inside of us.
We now know how beautiful and precious our world is. We are not taking it as much for granted as we did before. We are cherishing the sun because we know it will become too scorchingly hot to cherish. We are cherishing the food in the supermarkets because we know climate change will hit our food production systems in a way that will be difficult if not impossible to repair. We cherish the air we breathe because we know that we may run out of oxygen once the phytoplankton in the ocean is unable to produce it because of warming waters.
This may be a time of desperation, depression, and guilt for what we’ve done to the living planet. But it is also a moment of enlightenment. We can finally see our mistakes, how we’ve disrespected the planet and disrespected ourselves. We can change, even if it’s too late as many of the scientists say. We can cause less damage, even if our mitigation is not enough to halt global warming. We can be nicer to each other, although we may still have wars. We can make fewer species extinct, despite the fact that it is too late already for some that have entered a downward spiral of inevitable decline.
We can die like heroes: people who tried and fought, whether they won or not in the end. Do you want to be a hero? To die proud, reconciled with your victories and mistakes, or do you want to die without having learned any lessons? With the shame of not having turned the corner away from the cliff, even if you missed in the end by a few decimals of a degree Celsius?
Do you want to be a better human? Still imperfect, but better?