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Humans in the headlights: frozen in the path of a climate catastrophe

4 2 29

I write this genuinely lost but inspired by Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old Swedish visionary who has the courage and piercing honesty to tell it like it is on climate change.

Alex Fletcher, a Perth lawyer and cycling enthusiast.Credit:Yakub Erogul

On the surface, I'm spending my days normally. But most of the time, I’m thinking about climate change and what that means. Pretty much everything I thought I knew and relied on is now hazy. My assumptions about the past, the future, and the solidity of my world are in question. Beyond that, our actual values and behaviours as a society no longer make sense.

There are many people grappling with this existential crisis. It brings up a cocktail of feelings. Sometimes confusion, sadness and rage. Or numbness, disbelief, and a detached curiosity about what the future holds.

Either way I spend a lot of time searching things like 'climate change news', 'sea level rise news', and found another phrase that really took the wind out of my sails – 'near-term societal collapse'.

I read books on wilderness survival and have mini-panic attacks if I think about all the new skills I would need to learn to be self-sufficient, and protect and sustain my family, should organised society come to a creaking halt. I obviously don’t want this to happen, but do enough reading on climate change and it’s hard to escape it as a real possibility.

I’ve always been worried about the environment and the sheer amount of waste we humans create. Our obsessions with image, consumption and new gadgets.

The attitude that nature is inferior and dispensable. A society built on a never-ending golden age of economic growth in a resource-finite world.

Looking around, everyone seems fine – business as usual. But I have a........

© Canberra Times