My Personal Paris Climate Agreement
A report by the U.N. released last October made clear what most of the world’s scientists have been practically screaming for a while now – if we do not reduce our greenhouse gas emissions rapidly, we are going to cause our own extinction. Okay, so the report was more like, “Global emissions must go down 40 percent to 50 percent by 2030 to keep the Earth from warming 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the upper limit if we collectively hope to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change” (Thanks NPR, for that more precise summary).
It equates to the same thing.
When I was younger, I felt like the threat of climate change was some far off sci fy reality. It would maybe be a problem, but not for generations. Now, I’ve had the fortunate or unfortunate experience of living through natural disasters that were magnified by the effects of climate change.
|Our post-tornado neighborhood..
For one example, in 2011 I survived a massive tornado thatbroke records and was only a theoretical possibility (multi-vortex) until it decimated my home and a big chunk of Alabama. Yes, tornadoes and natural disasters are natural and they will happen regardless. But the severity and increasing frequency of these disasters are not natural – they are being amplified by the dramatic affect mankind has had on our environment.
This is no longer some distant, improbable threat. It is real, and it is affecting us now. But this is not a hopeless situation. Yes, the scientists are yelling “Act now, idiots.” But they aren’t jettisoning themselves into space to start over elsewhere. We still have time. We still have the power to fix this.
So that is my resolution for 2019. Given that my own country is one of the leading contributors to the problem and my own government is failing to see the writing on the wall, I will make my own personal Paris Climate Agreement for 2019, and on.
What does any of this have to do with Taylor’s Tiny Farm? Well. Everything if I’m going to be honest.
I can’t grow healthy food in soil that has been poisoned by carcinogenic pesticides and herbicides. I can’t have a homestead if I have to evacuate all the time because of wildfires. I can’t enjoy being outside if the air is too toxic to breathe – a regular problem here in Ogden. I can’t plan for long term crops like nuts and fruit trees when we are in a state of constant drought. Oh, and those wildfires. And that toxic air.
I can go on for quite a long time about the numerous ways climate change and living are interrelated.
I’ll post again with what my Personal Paris Climate Agreement will specifically entail. The U.N. report stated that we need to reduce our emissions by 40-50% by 2030 to avoid the worst effects of climate change (read: probable extinction), so I’m thinking I can and should do quite a bit more than that – especially since some Americans are still pretending that climate change isn’t even a real thing.