Tuesday, September 04, 2007

An Inconvenient Apathy

There's a stereotypical view of British people that we're all obsessed with the weather. And it's completely true, every person in Britain talks about the weather in perhaps every single gap in every conversation they possibly can. Which fills me with a deep sense of pride in these dark last days before the apocalypse. While the rest of the world has only jumped on the climate change bandwagon in the last few years, the elder generation in Britain have been complaining about how the winters and summers were so much better 50 years ago since the English Channel melted. The Brits care about climate change.

Unfortuantely we care more about being warm. If climate change was making Britain even wetter and colder than it is now, we'd all be cycling to work, which would mainly consist of tending to the newly planted forests, living a life purely with nature and doing just about anything to get the sun god to return. We would probably have to sacrifice Peaches Geldof. Not that I'm suggesting Peaches Geldof's death would solve climate change. Although it's certainly worth considering if we run out of options...

The point is that as soon as there's the merest glimpse of sunshine people flock to it. I walk along the Meadows every day and for most of the year it is a cold and desolate wasteland. People stick solely to the paths, not daring to venture out onto the grass in case they are swept away by a big gust of wind, or perhaps drown in a surprisingly deep muddy puddle. Which happens. I think. But as soon as the sun shines a little and that fucking gale of an artic wind stops blowing groups of people start to blossom everywhere. I'm not sure where all these people are or what they do when it's not sunny. Maybe that's why we've got so many pubs, to house everyone when they can't get pissed with a cheap can of cider in the middle of a sunny park.

I love the summer, everything just seems to be better. In fact, not seems, is. The hottest summer, 1976, is a summer remembered for crazy fun good times, probably because, as with any time when it's hot, people find it perfectly ok to strip down to very little and walk about. With 50% of the population this is a good thing. With the other 50%, the 50% that tend to spend most of their time in pubs waiting for the sun to emerge, less good. If only I could learn to love exposed, bloated and burnt beer-bellies, my summer's would be perfect. But you get all sorts emerging and enjoying the heat. Old people who don't have to worry about their joints freezing, teenagers who don't have to worry about freezing over a joint, active, passive, whoever. They all come out. Especially the hippies. The summer is ten-thousand times more happy than winter, fact.

So, as long as summer's stay hot, no one in Britain's going to care about climate change. And by that I mean me. It's not that I don't believe it's happening, it's just another one of those ridiculous hot topics that everyone talks about and very few people really know anything about. Both sides of the debate appear to be filled with people who have arbitrarily picked a side based on political views and then spout whatever bullshit facts are floating about on the topic at that point in time. We can barely predict what the weather's going to do tomorrow, let alone how our actions are going to affect the climate on a global scale over a long period of time. Carbon emmissions are probably having an effect and we should do something about it. But because natural disasters are pretty shocking, everyone starts to believe global warming is what's going to fry or freeze or drown or crush you and your children.

I guess global warming is a bigger issue than bird flu or BSE, but I'm just so sceptical of anything the media says I'm going to die from nowadays. I've become so aware of everything that's going to kill me that global warming is just another one to add to the list. Why worry about drinking alcohol? I'll have died from smoking before then. Why worry about dying from smoking? I'll have died in a car crash by then. Why worry about dying in a car crash? Terrorists will have murdered me. Why worry about being murdered? After my rape and abuse at a tragically young age at the hands of paedophile, I'll be praying for death to release me from my nightmare. So far I've survived, despite the media's opinion. Will global warming actually be the one that gets me and the rest of the world?

I don't know, I don't care. When you find the answer you can find me lying out in whatever bit of sun there is left. Probably dying from skin cancer.

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