The climes they are a-chang­ing

Daily Dispatch - - Life Style - Dolores Koan

To­day trash is pil­ing up at home – un­less some slip­pery prop­erty ninja threw it on a pile in the ‘hood.

How pre­scient that our 14-day wild­cat strike by a fear­some and loath­some union comes at a time when the hu­man world is meet­ing to dis­cuss the bur­geon­ing global trash pile such as the garbage patch form­ing in the At­lantic.

There are two hu­man mind-sets at play: one fo­cuses on the grubby lit­tle palace in­trigues which be­set our na­tion and its econ­omy, the other knows that big­ger things are com­ing.

Cli­mate change, shift, cri­sis, call it what you will, and na­tion pol­i­tics and econ­omy are big bros, one is spurred on fu­ri­ously by the other.

I am in­ter­ested in the peo­ple who care, who are in­ter­ested, who pos­si­bly find it en­gross­ing in its enor­mity, who want to keep up with the whole ice­cap melt­ing thing and the earth’s tem­per­a­ture hit­ting up to­wards the deadly two de­grees warmer than pre-in­dus­trial times. Last year we were at 1 de­gree and the big hu­man ef­fort now is to stop it at 1.5 de­grees.

There is a hole in the ozone of East­ern Cape think­ing. For years gree­nies and sci­en­tists have been get­ting wound up about cli­mate change, but if you asked any of them here to point it out in our back­yard, you got a mouth­ful of sci­ence bol­locks, mostly about how it can­not be quan­ti­fied or pre­cisely iden­ti­fied.

Frus­trat­ing when I watched pot plants be­ing washed off the Royal Al­fred Ma­rina, surfers catch­ing lefts near the Kowie Bridge, the Orange River run­ning dry, fires blaz­ing on the Gar­den Route, ice par­ti­cles from a storm blast­ing the Ceder­berg on the way to Namibia last month in sum­mer ... It just keeps on and and on and on.

It can feel crazy that while the politi­cians and busi­ness peo­ple bat­tle on, the very stage upon which they strut and give off all that hot air, is in a state of omi­nous, freaky flux.

So many lit­tle things that just keep adding up. You want to go to bed and hide un­der the cov­ers.

Then, a piece in this very news­pa­per about the fi­nal en­croach­ment: all that plas­tic we buy from re­tail­ers and in­dus­try and toss in the bin is land­ing up, not only in the ocean, or Na­hoon Cor­ner on Sun­day, but in­side us!

Yes, plas­tic par­ti­cles, teeny-weeny nur­dles in the food we eat are land­ing up in our bods! We are the plas­tic peo­ple in more ways than one.

Don’t be pet­ri­fied. Hu­mans are amaz­ingly flex­i­ble and smart. Change will come.

I am will­ing to bet that the way we con­sume fos­sil fu­els and plas­tic, the way we build, the way our fac­to­ries pro­duce and gorge them­selves on re­sources, the way ev­ery­thing is or­gan­ised, the or­der of so­ci­ety it­self, will bend and yield.

Cor­po­ra­tions can hold out for so long and then pres­sure from a pol­luted, ail­ing, an­gry, hurt pub­lic will push them too. When cancer and ad­di­tives and hazardous fumes col­lide, it’s go­ing to be fierce.

It’s bleak and it could be bloody but kids, you and I know, there will be new ways to get our heads around.

It will start with pub­lic aware­ness. Food will be a big is­sue. The ve­g­ans are com­ing! Sharpen your tongs! We won’t want plas­tic at all, not in our food, in our clothes nor in our bod­ies.

But I ask im­me­di­ately that any ad­di­tives and an­tibi­otics in chicken go first be­cause some­how what’s in them breasts has made it into my breasts!

Cop24, the UN’s arena for na­tion states to hag­gle and shout over how they are go­ing to try and stop the tem­per­a­ture ris­ing is tak­ing place in Ka­tow­ice, Poland, from Mon­day to Fri­day De­cem­ber 14.

Ev­ery­thing goes down at these events. They are real, and star­tling, scary and you learn plenty.

But the best, dear kideos, are the events that run on the mar­gin of the big, swing­ing, Ds in­side - the na­tion bosses.

There were hun­dreds of young cli­mate ac­tivists camped out around the event, all protest­ing and be­ing so sharp about it. They are on an­other level. They know what’s here now, and they are look­ing ahead.

You have to ex­pe­ri­ence it.

And hey, I am sorry about the mess.

Pic­ture: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL

CRE­AT­ING AWARE­NESS: En­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivists dis­play signs in­side the venue of the Cop24 UN Cli­mate Change Con­fer­ence 2018 in Ka­tow­ice, Poland on De­cem­ber 4.

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