Climate Change

The big road trip has been put on hold, hopefully only for a few months, because I am going to New Zealand this summer instead. There were a number of factors that contributed to pushing the trip, not least my aversion to extreme heat and it being the height of summer. The primary reason though, for postponing the trip, is a play that I want to see in Auckland that runs August 4th – 15th.

The play is called Between Two Waves and it’s about climate change. My understanding is the plot centers on a climate scientist (and pessimist) who is reluctant to bring a child into the world because of the potentially irreversible changes we’ve brought upon our planet. I know I’m all about faith and optimism, but honestly, I’m not sure I disagree with him.

I think a lot about climate change and it’s one of the few fears that my seemingly boundless faith often can’t counter. I grew up in a valley that flooded at least twice a year every year of my life. Once or twice it flooded so bad that all the roads into and out of town were impassable for a few days. When people began to talk about “global warming” I started worrying about the polar ice caps melting and the valley being permanently flooded. That was a somewhat obvious fear, but what scares me most now is how unknown it all is.

There’s a lot of models out there predicting the (terrifying) potential future effects of climate change but those predictions a) are all only theories at this point (which can only be proven by waiting to see what actually happens) and b) they vary. A lot. Drought and famine. Flooding. A new ice age. No one really knows what will happen, and it seems the one thing that many (though still not all) climate scientists can agree on is that it is too late to do anything about it. Something bad is coming, and we can guess at it, and sure those guesses are very educated, but only time will prove any of them sound. No one really knows. No one can truly predict the future.

I guess when you break them down to their core all fears are really the same. It’s all really fear of the unknown.