Wanted: 21st Century Renaissance

Sunshine – we know it as what marks a good day, what brings about our seasonal changes and what makes and breaks our ability to grow food. This summer has been a particularly sunny one in Southern Ontario, and in much of the growing regions in North America. It’s not exactly a good news story though. It’s also not an anomaly. Since January, the US has seen over 40,000 high temperature records broken. Two thirds of the United States is now in a moderate to severe drought. Nearly half of the nation’s corn crop has been destroyed. This is climate change, the new normal. Experts say - expect it to get worse.

But what does worse look like? We have examples on earth already, in drought ridden Africa, in the flood zones of the world. Are we ready for this? We live in a culture where when something bad happens we hold our hands out expecting help. Will the world come to our rescue when virtually everyone needs help?

It’s an interesting time to be living on Planet Earth. I’ve always thought of challenges as an opportunity for us to respond well. I wonder if it’s possible for us to respond well to this doom we hear and feel in the daily news, the dire predictions of our future here.

It would make sense if we heard that every available resource was being put towards a good response to climate change, but alarmingly there is little to be found and followed on the topic. There is still this relentless chase after greed at a time when we really need to be working on the same team, for our very survival.

During the Olympics we have a chance to see what is possible. We see that we can get along, and that we can work together as a team to pull off amazing things. The world is changing. Despite the many differences within every culture and race on this planet, we have this one unifying issue – climate change, how do we survive it? How do we respond well?

A lot of people are making some serious cash from our dependence on fossil fuels. There are alternatives, but our governments are so tightly wound up with this industry we will not see an end to this helping hand unless each voter decides it’s important enough. Our tax dollars are contributing to our own destruction. If ever there were a good response, it would be to elect people who will change this one life saving fundamental. Even if we did this in the next two years, it would likely take centuries for us to reclaim the world we were born into. Our new normal is something we will have to live with, and explain to our kids and grandkids as the mistake of all mistakes.

In the mean time, we need an energy renaissance, whether we have a helping hand or not.


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