Who Cares about the Freakin' Polar Bears!

>> Thursday, October 15, 2009


First off, I need to apologize to my mom for the potty language that appears in this post. Although I have a bad addiction to the words darn, crap, and freakin', I don't usually mess around with the hard words. But today is Blog Action Day and the topic is "climate change," and that topic warrants a little bit of a potty mouth.

First in this great quote from an article on Grist yesterday:

They say that everyone who finally gets it about climate change has an “Oh, shit” moment—an instant when the full scientific implications become clear and they suddenly realize what a horrifically dangerous situation humanity has created for itself.
My "oh, shit" moment came almost a year ago when a friend sent me this video about the effects of climate change on a small island nation called Kiribati, where my friend had served in the Peace Corps.

Up until then, I had a vague idea that climate change might someday have an effect on people, but after I watched that video, it dawned on me that climate change was not a might or a someday. It was already affecting people, and it was only going to get worse. I believe my exact thought was:

"Who cares about the freakin' polar bears!!!!"

Why did environmentalists persist in peddling pictures of stranded polar bears when climate change was going to have a drastic effect on people? Already is effecting people?

Now, don't get me wrong. I think polar bears are beautiful creatures (and look super cute drinking a Coke in those ads at Christmas). But when I see pictures of polar bears losing their homes due to climate change, I think, "That is so sad."

When I see pictures of people losing their homes due to climate change, I think, "Oh, shit."

If you haven't had your "oh, shit" moment yet, take some time to explore the Climate Orb (put together by the TckTckTck Campaign) to put a human face on the climate change issue. Then tell your leaders that you support a global climate deal that is ambitious, fair, and binding.

4 comments:

Eco Yogini October 15, 2009 at 7:39 AM  

i agree- the polar bear thing wasn't the most practical move. Then again- have you met most scientists? not exactly the best communicators. Thank goodness for people like you, Colin B., Green Phone Booth peeps. :)

my real 'oh shit' moment was during the lecture a few weeks ago. Weird that it was only a few weeks ago- but up until then I thought it was still a debate....

Green Bean October 15, 2009 at 1:07 PM  

True true. I actually cry when I see those polar bear pics. I'm a sap, I admit it. But I agree that most people need to something that shows that climate change is happening NOW. Even my husband just said he doesn't have a real concrete feeling that it is happening now. He feels like it is one of those far off, in the future things to worry about.

As to "oh shit" moments, I've had so many that I cannot remember them. Reading Eco Yogini's post about her recent "oh shit" moment was actually my most recent.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper October 17, 2009 at 10:21 PM  

@Eco Yogini - And you!

@Green Bean - The polar bear pictures are effective for some people - especially people that already have an inclination to save the planet. But you said it - they don't make climate change feel real and right NOW for most people. Still sad, though.

Diane MacEachern December 13, 2009 at 3:17 PM  

Yep, it's all about you and me and the people we care about.

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