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But Are You SURE The World Is Ending?

This whole world reacting to climate change is no different to my belligerent, overweight, diabetic father’s to medical advice. Every ailment met with the same advice, and ignored because it interfered with the unquenchable desire of both to consume themselves to death.

Sydney no longer experiences Autumn. California is on fire. Extreme weather is happening globally with astonishing regularity. We’re in the middle of a mass extinction. Experts have told us what to do to stem the tide. They’ve been saying it for years, and we just deny and ignore it.

To accurately conjure an image of my late father, picture, if you will, A Confederacy of Dunces’ Ignatius Reilly, in both body and spirit.

“Doctor why does my knee hurt? Fix it”

Well if you just lost some weight…

“Bah! Poppycock, I’ll purchase a fashionable cane with a compass and a hip flask in the handle, goodbye.”

“Doctor, why are my legs constantly swollen?”

Well…if you just lost a little weig-

“…nope! I’ll just get these stockings that I’ll force my wife to put on for me in the middle of the night.”

“Doctor, why am I having trouble breathing in my sleep?”

…really? …how many times do I-

“Bah! Stuff and nonsense, I will purchase this noisy sleep apnea device that you have specifically advised against”

“Later, I’ll suggest it is a life support machine, and accuse my wife of having tried to kill me by turning it off.” (I include this merely to illustrate character.)

The quadruple bypass he had when I was 11? Banning straws and charging for plastic bags. It’s a stopgap; a bandaid. It’s completely meaningless if people don’t even accept the actual cause of the problem and do something to address it. And then cantankerously spend the time they have left yelling at you about why the problem is something else altogether. Something that’s inevitable. “It’s just my genetics.” “It’s just God’s will.” Same same.

Why go to the doctor if you already know better? He came from a generation that denied the harm of SMOKING. He quit when I was 5 and didn’t stop griping about how much he missed it til the day he died. Clutching his lump of coal, crying for the future generations who will never know the pure joy of wastefully burning something that will kill you and everyone around you.

You know how you fix these things? You don’t wait for people to sort it out themselves when they’re their own worst enemy. You do it by force.

Won’t stop eating sugar? You hide the Cadbury. Keeps sneaking a cheeky few bites of polish sausage between every meal? Take it out of the shopping trolley when he’s not looking.

Won’t stop driving 2km to the shops to buy a bunch of plastic-wrapped planet-killing products? Ban what you can, at individual and corporate level. Won’t stop polluting? Make it so they can’t. Don’t give them the choice to ignore the facts.

Drives like a maniac? Takes off someone’s passenger door while they’re getting out of their car? Sits across two lanes of oncoming traffic while trying to do a poorly executed U-turn, while you sit in the passenger seat watching a ute scream towards you at 100km/h? You don’t just let him keep driving, and you don’t try to reason with him. You anonymously call the RTA and get his license revoked so he can’t put anyone else in danger ever again.

What is the point of having an expertise in anything if we no longer place any value in it? What good is an international committee whose entire role is to tell you what you should be doing if you don’t give a flying fuck? How long have we held this contempt for knowledge? Where does that get you?

I’ll tell you where it gets you. Lying on your back in a bathtub, your frail wrinkled skin scalded beyond repair by the tap you knocked on the way in, unable to lift your own gross weight out of the mess you made for yourself. Rushed pointlessly to hospital where your organs start shutting down one by one over a mere matter of days in the coma from which you were never going to recover. The earth scorched, the sea empty, your precious earthly possessions now worthless, as is the earth itself.

We’ve been told. We don’t care. That’s what we can look forward to.

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