Feeling the Heat

White Rhino forwarded me the latest CSR Newswire in which there is much crowing about all the climate crisis action that’s happening this week from theU.N. to Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative to WalMart to New York State. (The only black mark on the week comes, as always (* heavy sigh*), from our country’s own point man, who just can’t seem to learn how to play well with others.)

This week’s news is all well and fine and good and wonderful and warms me like a happily bubbling fireside fondue pot full of dark chocolate body paint on a snowblown night in February when the kids are with Grandma and my wife is breaking out the good stuff. People are talking. Discussing. Communicating. Cooperating. Let me hear you say Hallelulah, people. Salut! We’re getting past that awkward early stage in the relationship where those of us who who’ve been blinded by science have to incessantly argue the clear and present danger to those keeping one blood-rimmed eye on denial and the other on the Dow. The weather forecast has come in. Cloudy and hot with a chance of the apocalypse. And suddenly, it seems, everybody is sitting up, taking notice, and feeling heat. “Oh holy crap! We’re about to turn the planet in a smoking cinder. That can’t be good.”

Uh… no. It can’t. Which is kinda sorta pretty much exactly what anyone who’s been paying attention has been screaming for a whole bunch of years now.

Which is the point. We’ve been hollering, y’all been fiddling, and I know it’s a big bummer and it’s going to cut into lunch and mess with the quarterlies, but time’s up on talk. Clock’s run out. Your session has expired. The mouth meter has clicked over to zero and it’s all hands on deck. You don’t have to look any further than Joseph’s post from earlier today to see that the climate crisis isn’t coming. It’s here. So really, while the week’s conversations are great and I know talk is the step that must come first and it’s nice to finally have you here at the party (please pass the solutions), I’m somewhat rather altogether feeling like this is all a day late and a dollar short. See, in the 90s we were supposed to be talking. That was our chat period. The warm and fuzzy let’s-put-all-our-climate-crisis-feelings-on-the-table-and-share time. You remember the 90s, right? That was when you guys were misdirecting and obfuscating and conspiring and truth-twisting and funding phony “think” tanks and full page ads in the New York Times that called climate scientists total wack-jobs who wanted to steal everyone’s Hummer and also maybe even their Cuisinart and make us all live in barely lit caves with nothing but straw mats and bearskins and the wild boar we had to kill with our teeth for dinner and oh what we wouldn’t do for some oregano and a decent bottle of cabernet.

But that’s okay. I forgive you. I think we all do. Really. No joke. Your nurture and your nature left you all myopic and crimp-brained about how all this would all affect your portfolios and you were pretty much unable to see or think or act beyond your own private kingdoms and that’s okay. It happens to the best of us, and I am all about Redemption. What’s done is done and we live in the here and now and that’s where the present moment is and that’s the moment that’s all that matters. So, it’s good to have you on the bus at last. We saved you a seat up front where you can see real good and don’t have to strain to hear the tour guide point out all the things to see in the rapidly immolating countryside. (Yes, that was Greece we just passed. Remember when things could live there? Gosh, those were the days…)

But here’s the deal: we ain’t driving this motorcoach to no conference. We aren’t headed for the table so we can all drink San Pellegrino and pat ourselves on the back for recognizing a problem and sitting down to deal with it like the leaders that we’ve been wishing you were. We aren’t aiming for a summit or a meeting or a focus group. From town halls and community gardens to backyards and basements from coast to carbonated coast, we’re driving this bad boy straight into the heart of action, baby. Because that’s what it’s time for. That’s where we gotta go. That’s what has to happen. That’s what needs to go down if we’re going to cut our collective carbonization 90% by next Thursday, which is pretty much what anyone with a Ph.D. after their name says we have to do or this little thing we like to call human civilization is going to roast faster than the Turkey you tried to deep fry that Thanksgiving you ended up in the burn unit.

Talk is cheap when that’s all there is, and we just can’t afford that anymore. So while I’m glad to see you talk, while I’m very happy you woke up and smelled the carbon and dashed off a memo and booked a hotel room in New York so you could get a place at the table, while I’m all for awareness and conversation and questions and suggestions and sitting up on the dais with the ex-president and making a few brief remarks before the big video presentation, what you really need to do is to Do. Something. Now. Make it big. Make it bold. Make it happen. Do the thing that is so audacious, so brave, so valiant, so uncompromising, so selfless that it makes good men weep and strong women gasp in open admiration as they bow before your suddenly self-evident greatness. Whatever it is. Whatever you can imagine. Whatever you can dream. Go for it. Because we can’t wait. We can’t waste time. We can’t talk anymore. We gotta get going or we’re all gonna be gone.