02 September, 2018

Our Climate Future: Hope or No Hope

I was blessed this last week to attend the Al Gore "Climate Reality" training at the Staples center in downtown Los Angeles. It was an exhausting, yet an energetic several days.  Several times I was certain my brain was as full as it could get, but they managed to cram more into corners I didn't know I had!

Bunch of folks, 2200 in fact, learned a lot about climate
change in LA this last week.  Most of them
were excited and motivated by the training.
We've been hearing more and more about climate change each and every year. On the news, we hear about larger and more violent storms coming to our shores, each year it's a whole new level of destruction. In one year, the worst hurricane statistics are replaced by a new set of "the worst hurricane statistics." And we think this hyperbole is some sort of sales pitch. Scientists, normally a rather reserved group, seem to be coming close to hysteria with their pronouncements - while other groups of people decry the findings as being a political ploy. Which is it?  

I'm renowned for being a science doubter in the world of GMOs. I still am. But not with climate change. What's the difference? 

In the case of GMOs, many of the institutions that extol the virtues of GMOs are funded by Monsanto (now Monsanto/Bayer) and I find that kind of science repulsive. There are very few GMO studies by non-affiliated institutions - even the US government is thoroughly riddled with Monsanto employees or former-employees or other close associations (Clarence Thomas, for example, was a Monsanto lawyer for a time) that impress me with too much familiarity to be considered impartial. 

There is no such alignment in climate change. The climate is not paying outrageous salaries for consultations - in fact, a good many of these scientists reporting on GMOs are not doing the bidding of some huge behemoth of a company that pays their tidy salary. They are fighting an upstream battle - while scientists from the oil and gas industry ARE paid to sow distrust and confusion.

Most of the people who left the Climate Reality with me, enjoyed a lot of hope about the future. They left with big smiles, laughing and feeling good. 

I, on the other hand, left all the presentations feeling depressed. I'm afraid we don't have enough time to change fast enough. This is a blog about food and I left the training feeling that we won't have enough time. IF we moved on it today - traded in our gasoline cars for electric cars - or even hybrids - and each of us composted our waste, while wasting less, and taking public transportation (that isn't even there yet), IF we ate less meat and did a short list of other things, we could change how this plays out. 

I don't think we will change. At least we won't change fast enough to keep more disasters from happening and sooner than we think, we'll be facing the dead end of climate change. And one of the major problems we will face sooner than later is what will we eat and how will we prepare it?  A lot of the food we eat today will be adversely affected. The fruit trees in the Learning Garden are already affected by climate change - they try to flower in Fall and when that doesn't work, they flower in Spring, but the flowering is reduced, weakened, by the futile flowering in Fall. If this keeps up, the trees are going to be repeatedly weakened and I cannot see how we can judge that as a positive phenomena. 

Humanity may not successfully negotiate these next few decades. We don't have much longer than that to get ahead of this learning curve and to learn how to feed these masses of humans.  Can you see us changing? Fast enough? 

I wish I could.


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