Climate change is killing us but wait, a silver lining
The problem that Thunberg — and others less audible like Severn Suzuki, who in 1992 warned the world about a painful planetary, or Ridhima Pandey, who along with Thunberg, filed a complaint to protest the lack of government action on the climate crisis — has highlighted is real. The fact that a kid has to holler the message to be heard isn’t pretty. But if Sunita Narain or Vandana ‘NoMonsanto’ Shiva had said the same thing, we — and certainly, I — would have ho-hummed and muttered ‘alu doomsayer’. But a white 16-year-old from Sweden — who sails her way from an undisclosed place in Britain to New York in an 18-metre sports yacht with solar panels on its deck and sides, and two hydro-generators just to avoid taking a bad carbon-belching flight — may not be the best person telling you to stop flying, using an air-conditioner, watching Netflix, snorting cocaine — all lifestyle activities that the developed countries have already enjoyed and now may be feeling iffy about.
Which is where I can identify one kind of people who would not be either panic-stricken or stupidly blasé about climate change: those contemplating suicide. One of the major downsides of committing suicide — and, indeed, dying — is the pain of leaving a loved one or loved ones behind. With climate change-fuelled apocalypse around the corner, there is one heartwarming thought in this mass destruction — we’re all in it together, for the sadness of it.
While people rally behind Thurnberg and rail against her — somehow making the effects of a physical law sound ‘left liberal’ — the fact that ‘it may already be too late’ is comforting, and if not comforting yet, should certainly be made so. Unlike the stupid dinosaurs, we literally have a heads-up to the enhanced suffering and hopefully extinction of our species, along with others. So the next time you shout while pointing at a lit lamp during the brightness of a day in an American movie or television series — ‘Look at the hypocrisy of the West! They keep their lights on during the day while lecturing us to turn off our ACs!’ — also do remind yourself of dying a tight planetary death that leaves no one behind. The other, better option is, of course, for an asteroid to hit us. But that, alas, is not in our hands.
GLOBAL WARNING: The fact that a child like Greta Thunberg has to holler to the world about the climate crisis isn’t pretty, but she is quite right about what she says