For at least the last 8 years, anything remotely approaching climate change has been more like a pub brawl in conversation, or a dogged fight inside the Beltway....we have forced ourselves to laugh about the absurdity of it all (...in my case, so as not to despair, wail and cry). But I am starting to feel the tide turning...
Ok, I'm going Lord of the Rings on you with this metaphor, but stick with me. It's as nerdy as it is perfect (plus, you only have to have seen the movies!) I think this situation is like Gandalf faceoff against the fiery Balrog falling into the abyss under the Bridge of Khazad-dum...the last 8 years of freefall has felt like we are burning ourselves alive and banging into the rocky walls. So painful. In LOTR, the two fall into a lake that extinguishes the Balrog's flame and helps Gandalf successfully fight and win after days of battle. Then, importantly, Gandalf dies to return with even greater powers as Gandalf the White.
I'm throwing down an enviro(ish) prediction my friends....I think we've hit that lake in terms of this battle on climate change. I think we are in the last dregs against the haters and the naysayers. This 8 year freefall will have made us stronger, and we are about to be returning in a state of glory to fight for Middle Earth...I mean THE Earth.
Last summer a new documentary series premiered where celebrities are the correspondents interviewing the people impacted by climate change. The issue never looked so good....I mean, was never talked about so compellingly for the average American. Don't forget you can watch the first Years of Living Dangerously episode for free (!!)
September saw hundreds of thousands marching on the issue of climate change. We've got the leader of the Catholic Church (aka Pope-est with the most-est!) speaking openly about ecological issues, talking publicly about our wasteful behaviors, and meeting with the head of EPA to discuss the moral issue of climate change. President Obama made a climate pact with China, which was always the thorny speedbump jamming up the international climate talks. And all the while this tiny group of Republicans have been quietly working on energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate...well those brave souls are becoming less and less relegated and ignored.
So why do I think we're already in the lake and about to win the "battle" for working towards real solutions to climate change? 2015 is going to be a big year of stuffs, the likes of which I haven't seen since 2007! Pope Francis is coming out with his ecological encyclical. Yay! In the spirit of "I know cause I won both of them", President Obama put in a comprehensive spending request on climate for next year's budget to Congress, including increasing energy research, extending tax credits, preparing for natural disasters, and helping states curb emissions. Booya! There's a documentary releasing in March called "Merchants of Doubt"* about the propaganda artist/spinsters that manipulate public opinion against climate change and against tobacco causing cancer. The importance of this vs. every other documentary is...this topic will finally give everyone the "OK" to change their minds about climate change (I mean, nobody likes finding out they've been manipulated). How they make a comedy out this topic...I can't wait to see. (*Disclosure: I work for the parent company releasing this pic....but honestly didn't know we signed the rights last August until two weeks ago...which I still can't believe I missed!)
And most of all, many many groups are going to be active on this issue leading up to UN COP21 climate change conference in Paris later this year ("Road to Paris", lock in that phrase right now, you'll hear it more!). There's speculation that it will lead to the new Kyoto Protocol, meaning it will not be the latest in a long string of failed COP meetings. And there's starting to be proof...CEOs are calling for zero emissions pledge out of the conference. These winds are changing, and not just because of the massive shift in weather patterns due to climate change (ok ok, last one!)
Had you already heard about these topics in the news? Do you think momentum on climate change is...well...changing?