Climate Change Should Spark Passion

(January 11, 2016)

Of course it’s personal.

As the Cole Porter song says, birds do it, bees do it — even educated fleas do it. It’s not just about falling in love, but being passionate about what is important to you.

So I am more than fed up with the casual dismissals of climate change, the disdain for ecological destruction, that I read or encounter somewhere every day.

People can be very passionate about sports. I’ve watched Jets fans sob uncontrollably over a playoff loss. Blue Bomber fans wandering aimlessly through the streets in search of a quarterback. Blue Jays fans digging out what they wore during the last World Series win to recapture the magic.

But get worked up about the end of life as we know it, and you’re dismissed as some tree-hugger who takes these things too personally. Or you’re told you need to take a longer view of climate change, which periodically causes mass extinction anyway, so it is no different for us.

I’m sorry: climate change is personal. So are poverty, violence against women, drunk driving, second-hand smoke and any number of issues where people know first-hand what it means to experience something that’s wrong. In a civilized society, some things should not happen. Period. If they do, they need to stop. Something has to change.

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