Over Land

November 10, 2008

It is so cool – the Australian Youth Delegation to the UN Climate Talks (in 2.5 week’s time – aargh!), are going to Poland over land. That’s right, all the way from Australia to Poland by boat, train, bus, foot, metro and anything else which doesn’t waste resources like flying. And they get to actually see the world, rather than just flying over it!

They’re blogging about it here, and I just wanted to post something which I really liked written by a certain Jack Fuller.

I wish this climate problem didn’t exist. Its mundane, philistine imperatives suck up our time and our lives. How is it that we care about carbon dioxide? How is it that we came to this point, of caring so much about what powers our lights? Future generations, I hope, will not care about this. The world has much, much more to offer.

I am coming of age during the emergence of a great distraction. Climate change is a distraction, and all the more so because we must pay attention to it. It may take up most of our lives with its damned consequences. We risk seven metre sea-level rises if the West Antarctic or Greenland ice-shelves melt; we risk 200 million refugees in Asia if the Himalayan water supply melts away.

And so my agency, my education, my impatience to assume the world – the longing persuaded in me by my parents and this civilisation, must now be directed towards a climate and energy problem we have known about for far too long. This new imperative to live sustainably must be prioritised, but it is boring. On the other hand, the question “what is a great life?” is perennial, and far more challenging. I await the time we can return to it.

– Jack Fuller, on the train to Malaysia


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