23 October 2009

44 Days to Copenhagen - FIRE!

It used to be, when there was a fire, someone shouted "Fire!" (And people listened. And took action. Immediately. Grab your kid and run kind of immediately.)

Nowadays, there's fire but instead of shouting to save people's lives, everyone seems to think they have to figure out what to say and how to say it. Greenpeace held a slogan contest recently — save the world in six words max. A Canadian environmental group just commissioned a study to find out the best "frame" to use to shout "Fire!" Someone on a listserve is wondering about the "science" in a new denier movie.

A friend told me by email today, "Teach, don't shout." The irony is, I WASN'T EVEN SHOUTING! And besides, once the fire is blazing is not the time to do fire safety education. (She also calls me a Cassandra — of Trojan Horse fame. Cassandra did not come to a good end, even though she was right all along, which I find kind of disturbing.)

It broke my spirit. I'm played out and it's not even October 24 yet (International Day of Climate Action). I am so glad that I decided on a lament and a learn-in tomorrow, rather than a celebration. What are people celebrating? That we haven't completely ruined the future yet?

I guess ignorance truly is bliss. There are days that I curse this knowing. Though in the case of global climate change, Goethe is right:

"There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action."

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?