Month 12, Day 10: Only YOU Can Prevent, etc., etc., etc.

Israel is burning, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. And (of course) it’s because of climate change — arguably the largest tossed-away cigarette to trigger a forest fire in humanity’s history.

The news accumulates daily, reinforcing a sobering message: climate change is not something that will affect the lives of our grandchildren, but a real-time emergency. Israel’s spreading forest fires are one among multiple symptoms of our planetary fever. Our survival depends on two things: we must learn to think in longer spans of time (for when the lag between climatic cause and climatic effect is measured in decades, where will a politician find the courage to do what is right?), and we must learn to think beyond national boundaries. In Cancun, the world’s nation’s are negotiating; the richest are reluctant to surrender their privileges, while the poorest simply want to keep their land, their lives and their hopes. A moment’s objective reflection makes it obvious: if humanity is to prosper in a post-climate-change world, an “us vs. them” mindset is an unaffordable luxury.

Warren Senders

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