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Climaturity by Marc Cortez

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We are being told that climate change is the biggest problem we will ever face in our lifetime. We are being told it's the biggest problem our children and grandchildren will face. It's a crisis, it's an emergency, and if we don't do something about it *now*, humanity is in danger. Forever. And yet, are we really willing to take the necessary actions change it? Are we willing to sacrifice our children's college funds, to give up reliable energy, to reverse our entire way of life in order to tackle climate change on? If not, why? Maybe it's because we don't really believe it's an actual emergency. If you had a heart attack, you'd be rushed to the hospital. If you were critical, your family would rush to your side. If the doctors said you needed expensive surgery, you'd spend your life savings on the procedure. And you would certainly adopt the lifestyle changes your doctor recommended going forward. In short, you would change your life immediately to respond to the emergency — because it's a real emergency. How many of us have done the same for climate change? I can only speak for myself. Out of the last $1000 I've spent, most of it has been for my home, food, my children's college fund, new lacrosse equipment, my anniversary dinner, and a dental appointment. Oh, I did buy a homeless man a sandwich, and I bought some community solar. So, I guess that makes me feel a bit better. But I didn't spend any money to save the melting Himalayas. Hey, before you yell at me, did you? Are you saving 20% of your annual income to prepare for the pending climate catastrophe or did you rush to buy a Volt while it was still cheap? Have you invested your kid's college fund into high-ground real estate to protect yourselves from the upcoming global floods, or did you go to Whole Foods to buy organic food? Are you installing solar now, or are you waiting for prices to drop? What did *you* do this week to prevent Manhattan from flooding? Probably nothing. When it comes down to it, we're all making daily, practical, economic decisions. We're doing what we have to do for our families and our local communities. Does that make us selfish? Of course. We all work towards our self-interests, and it's I to think naïve otherwise. Just today you made a decision that benefited you and yours only. So did I. We only have so much money and time to spend on our lives, so we do the best we can with that. If we have an extra 50 cents to save the planet at the end of our days, then we will, but if I have to choose between my kid's college and the Himalayas, I'll choose college every single time. And so will you. If we truly believed that we only have a few years left until the world begins its irreversible decline, we'd be acting differently. We are not acting as if we're in a true emergency, because we're not. Instead, we're doing simple, affordable things. We buy solar systems and electric vehicles and organic foods. We clap when teenage activists scold the United Nations for a lack of climate urgency, and we tweet the Children for Climate protests to our social media friends to show we care. ("By golly, isn't scaring our children the right thing to do? You betcha!") We yell at climate-denying Republicans because, well, we can, and it sure retweets well. It's easy to blame them because *they're* really the problem. Let's be honest with ourselves. We want the global climate change problem to be solved as long as we don't have to make great sacrifices to make it happen. At the end of the day, we'll sacrifice a polar bear or two in order to put our kids through college, because those are the real choices we make. The 2019 Davos Conference welcomed 1500 private jet flights into Switzerland to talk about climate change, releasing countless CO₂ emissions into the air, but hey, they sure did talk about important stuff. Maybe they felt guilty about it afterwards, but they did it anyway. Maybe instead of climate change being Stage 4 cancer, it's more like the 10 pounds we gained after Thanksgiving dinner. Is it really an emergency, or is it just extra weight we have to sweat off before Christmas? ## Climaturity in the News * [Amazon Bestseller](https://www.prlog.org/12925927.html) * [Marc Cortez featured on NPR](https://beta.prx.org/stories/466286)