Saturday 22 Oct 2016

An Apology
AJ Robinson

My daughter just had a birthday. She’s quite the young woman, now, living over on the west coast of Florida, where’s she’s starting her life. Yet, I feel the need to apologize to her.

The reasons for an apology are two.

First, there’s that phrase: “young woman,” and, second, there’s that location, the “west coast of Florida.”

Just recently, I read some articles about Climate Change, how it is accelerating. Not only is this year already the hottest on record, but every month is the hottest on record for that particular month. On top of that, the Antarctic ice shelf is collapsing at an alarming rate, much faster than the experts had expected.

Yet, we still debate whether or not Climate Change is happening and if it is manmade! Some politicians and pundits still insist it’s not happening. In fact, they actually have the nerve to say we’re getting colder.

On and on goes the stupidity, the media treats ever climate denier as if they’re an expert. Voters pretty much ignore the subject. Of course, given the fact that the media does not report honestly on the issue, some of that is understandable.

Please note, I said “some.”

I shall make use of that lame statement that so many politicians use almost daily: “I’m not a scientist.” I guess it’s okay if I don’t know everything about the subject. Yet, I do know the following this much, in my lifetime I’ve seen summers get hotter, winters shorter and more intense, fall and spring get shorter and so on and so forth.

If I, just a common ordinary fellow, can notice all those changes, then I think most people, of average intelligence, can do the same. Furthermore, if we can notice what’s what and we hear the scientists telling us this is a problem, we should be bright enough to derive a conclusion: the climate is changing, fast. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Well, what of those people telling me it’s not happening or it’s just natural?

I’m sorry, but that’s a lame excuse. I hear the same things and this is how I look at it. Who’s telling me it is happening and who’s telling me it isn’t happening.

Well, independent scientists from all over the world and in all kinds of different areas of science are all telling me the same thing. Climate Change is real and caused by humans. Whose is on the other side? Well, let’s see, the gas, oil and coal industries support most of them.

Gee, I wonder which ones are impartial.

Come on, people, it’s not rocket science or brain surgery. Let’s get back to my daughter. She’s in her twenties, which means she has a good, I hope, sixty to seventy years ahead of her. That means she, her family and her generation are going to be hit the hardest by the environmental effects of Climate Change.

I’m talking sea level rise, droughts, crop failures, tropical diseases moving northward, higher acidity of the oceans and so on. Living in Florida means dealing with heat and so she and her family are going to bake. Living in Florida, especially at the coast, means the sea level rising will have a major effect. We’re talking flooding, saltwater infiltration of the groundwater and crops drying up.

That’s why I owe her an apology; as does everyone from my generation. We owe our children and grandchildren an apology. We saw the trouble coming, we knew it was real, and we did nothing because it was too inconvenient. Well, as Al Gore said, it’s an inconvenient truth, but we should deal with it. Of course, there is that little word: should. Yeah, we should, but will we? I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

I’m sorry, Alexa, I hope you can forgive me.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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