surinenglish

Nightmare

We spend so much time on urgent things that we don't spend enough of it on those which are important. However, the time may not be far off when we are forced to change our priorities, and when that happens there won't be much more we can do.

The signals the Earth is giving about the consequences of what we have done to her are increasingly pressing. There are so many that we can't distinguish between them. Drought, fires, hurricanes causing destruction in the Caribbean and strange weather in Europe, all attributed to climate change. We shouldn't blame ourselves. The situation has gone so far that we don't have the tools to discern why one thing happens, or something else does. It's scandalous that all the governments on the planet have greater priorities than the urgent need to change direction.

Not long ago we were boasting about our climate. Hot weather in late September, 320 days of sun a year. Marbella proudly advertised its two degrees fewer than Malaga in summer and two more in winter, but even that might be changing. Nowadays nobody can be happy to have lost the autumn and see tourists swimming in October. It's not a privilege, it's a sign of catastrophe. There are now more than 320 days of sun a year, the desert is advancing and rivers are either dried up channels where rubbish accumulates or they contain so much water that they overflow, until a new period of drought makes us forget that again.

Most of the world's powers are in denial. Economic interests are so powerful that not even the most devastating hurricanes can change the minds of the obtuse.

It seems like the script of a futuristic terror series and we are the main characters who, by mid-season, have already adapted to an apocalyptic world. A study presented this week at the Davos World Economic Forum showed that in 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic than fishes. Not even that harsh reality compels us to change our ways or demand a change of politicians.

We are creatures of habit, and it seems we think the only way out is to resign ourselves to the problems. To get used to the nightmare, in fact.