Climate change is our combined inheritance and as such we all deserve transparency on this issue. And yet transparency is exactly what we haven’t had.
The reality is that climate change has been ridiculously under reported and even the people talking about it, have downplayed it.
We talk endlessly about new ways of thinking. Finding new ways of doing things. What about abandoning the ideas that are no longer fit for purpose?
Not allowing for transparency, is one such idea. Believing that panic is the worst outcome to come out of informing people is another. It could be argued that panic, and it's less attested cousin, ‘concern’ will drive action. That they will be stepping stones to something good.
I'm not entirely sure if it’s a fear of scaring people that holds us back from speaking up. I think partly we’re concerned about appearing preachy. Because when you 'preach', people look, they lean in, they glare and that’s not comfortable and the attention it generates is rarely passive.
We need to carve out a safe space where we can talk about the realities of climate catastrophe as it edges closer. To express our frustration and to criticise strategies, governments and organisations, where necessary. Even if those voicing their concerns don’t have a solution at their fingertips. After all, a critic can’t be expected to have the answers, in the same way our institutional caretakers can't be expected to enforce change without us taking a stake in this. We all have skin in this game. And criticism when done constructively, can form the baselines of a solution.
The truth doesn’t owe us uplifting.
It was never meant to be the beginning and the end. But if we're going to get something done, the truth is the only place to start and the news has a responsibility to report it and to do so responsibly, sans the rose-tinted hyperbole.
As comforting it is in the short term, it’s not doing us any favours in the medium to long term.