Today is Blog Action Day. Just for once, I’ll post in English (or something that resembles it…).
An old man is sitting on a bench and stares at the waves of the sea, as they roll ashore. The beach is not a nice sandy one, but it’s kind of rocky. This motionless man has something sad about him. Something that reminds of days gone by, of loss.
“Granddad?” An little hand touches the arm of the old man, who startles a bit. “Yes, Pete?” “Why is it that you are so often sitting here, looking out over the sea?” “Well, boy, I was born there.” He points to somewhere in the distance. Peter asks, “What do you mean? In the water?” “No, when I was born, the world was a bigger place. There was more land and less sea. I was born in a village that rests now at the bottom of the sea you see here in front of you. In fact, not at all far from here. At night, when all is quiet, you can sometimes hear the church bells ring. Or maybe that’s just my imagination.”
“Whoa, awesome! How come then that there is now sea where this village was before?” “Haven’t you learnt that yet at school? Oh, you’re probably too young. You see, a long time ago clever men and women warned us. They said that if the whole world continued using oil and charcoal as energy sources, for example to make electricity or to propel a car, that the climate of the whole world would be affected. Global warming, they called it. Around the year 2006, when I was born, people began to understand that it was serious. Until then, everybody looked at each other; they waited for the politicians to take action. Politicians on the other hand didn’t dare to take unpopular measures, fearing they would lose voters. People in Europe and America began to use solar panels though. Not many at first, because the technology was still quite expensive, but more and more it became normal to use solar energy. Unfortunately, mankind reacted too late. The changing of the climate could not be stopped. The North pole – for you it’s just water, in my time there was nothing but ice up north – melted. Glaciers melted. The sea level rose and many countries lost a part of there territory, some more than others. The temperature rise made certain countries uninhabitable. Others experienced more and more difficulties in producing enough food for their inhabitants. Diseases that were before confined to the tropical and subtropical region around the equator, began to spread worldwide and took many victims.”
The old man sighs. Peter had listened, eyes wide open. “The world was a different place then, boy. Better, in some ways. We had more luxuries. We could travel by airplane to the other end of the world. But it was at the same time worse in other ways, than it is now. As a result of the climate changes, the world population has drastically diminished. We have changed our way of living and we reduced our ecological footprint. Men is trying to live in harmony with nature.”
“I don’t understand! Why didn’t they do something about the changes of the climate while they still could?! How could they be so stupid to let it all just happen?” “When you’re used to a certain level of luxury, you won’t easily give it up. The Asian Union, that consisted of separate countries in that time, like China, wanted the same level of luxury as the western countries, and to reach that goal they were using enormous amounts of resources like steel and charcoal. From their point of view, it was egoistic from the western countries to want to reduce the emissions of CO2. And furthermore, the changes didn’t take place in just one year, but much more gradually, so in 2007 there where still people who didn’t believe in global warming. Put a frog in a pot of boiling water and immediately he jumps out of it. Put him in a pot of cold water, start to heat the water slowly, and he stays in the pot and gets cooked alive.”
“I really hope we have learnt our lesson then.” “I hope that too, my boy…”