My ‘House’ Is On ‘Fire’

Oh, and so is yours. Because the 'house' I am talking about is Earth. And I think Earth is on ‘fire’ because I trust climate scientists know what they are talking about, just like I trust other technical specialists know what they are talking about every time I pick up my phone, get in my car, step on an airplane, and buy food.

The thing of it is, though, that I have yet to start acting like my house is on fire. Instead, I feel like I am walking around the place, pointing at a still invisible gas accumulating at the ceiling, saying things like, "Hey, shouldn't we be doing something about that?" And my 'house mates' are saying things like, "Yeah, but later. We're watching the game right now. Besides, we'll find a way out when we need to. So don't worry about it."

Guess I am just not as sure of this as they are.

After all, it is not as if we can simply open a window or door to get out of this ‘house’ we are in, is it? Because although Earth is our home, it is not really like a house on a street of like houses surrounded by a hospitable atmosphere. Indeed, as far as we know we are on our own here, living in a sealed structure, with no other place to go. So, if we wait until the gasses accumulate to the point that they pose a mortal threat to everyone 'in the house,' it may be too late for us to 'clear the air' so to speak. So how about we clear the air now instead, just as a precaution?

Fact: almost none of the people who dismiss climate science with a flippant flick of the wrist have any scientific credentials.

Fact: science is not based on subjective belief.

Fact: if we were all watching the game together and a carbon monoxide detector in the house went off we would think it serious enough to immediately do something about it.

So what am I missing here? I have studied the related issues for going on three decades. I teach Environmental Science and Science Communication at the college level. And even though I do not presume to know anywhere close as much about the accumulated evidence that points climate scientists to the conclusion of which I speak, I know enough to know such folks do not yell 'Fire!' on a crowded planet without good reason.

What I mean to say is I agree with those who think it is long past time we organized and implemented our best defenses against utter disaster.

Now for the good news: even something as modest as a bucket brigade with access to an adequate water supply can manage a house fire if effective coordinated action is taken while the fire is still manageable at human scale.

So, how about we all put this on our bucket lists: join in line and play an active part in efforts to save our 'house' from the 'flames.'

Our kids will thank us for doing our best to ensure they still have a nice, safe place to live when we no longer need one.

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