Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Paris Climate Conference

I remember the Kyoto climate conference of 1992. I was studying marine biology and what was important to me was Everything (About The Ocean). Whenever I referred to The Ocean, I thought of it as capitalized.

I envisioned myself becoming a Jacqueline Cousteau; I even took to wearing a little raspberry beret. I tried to smoke Gauloise cigarettes citing the fact that had I been born a year earlier I would have been conceived in France.

My favorite professor was Paulette Peckol. I learned how to create experiments that monitored the eating habits of the common periwinkle snail, Littorina. I mined data. It was all so fantastic.

Everything was amazing. I couldn't get enough of the gas bladders of fucus. Of phylogenetic systematics. How cool and expressive in a myriad of ways was Life? I could spend hours watching.

Now it's the Paris Climate Conference and we're all so totally done with the awesomeness of life and the t-shirts that say Reduce Recycle Reuse that have ended up in Third World country dumps. The joy and curiosity has been replaced with terror.  I'm scared. It's legit. The shells of Littorina don't develop correctly anymore.

When we were in Boston over the summer by the harbor there was a sign that said, basically, "In twenty years where you are might not be here." Crap, was my first thought. My second thought was, More habitat for whales?

1 comment:

  1. Well, you got me to go back to 1992. I remember thinking that the chances for my small daughter to have a sustainable future were there and it felt that I could let go of some of the fears. Now, she is all grown up and has read the signs and tells me she does not want to have children herself because she needs all her energy to work for this planet and I cried.