In this second week of political theater as the Democrats prepare to take the stage after a week of Republican drama, I am thinking a lot about truth and lies. One of the things that I have seen recently that I cannot get out of my “mind’s eye” is a satellite image of the Northwest Passage that has opened in the Arctic ice.
Satellite images show the recent opening of a navigable route through the Arctic ice cap. For centuries explorers looked for a short-cut above the North American land mass for a direct route from Europe to Asia. A small sail boat has navigated the northern passage. A sail boat with no ice reinforcements on the fiberglass hull has made it through where only one freighter equipped with an ice-breaking, reinforced hull has previously made it through. There is less ice on the northern polar regions of our world than there has ever been since the birth of human civilization.
So what does this have to do with Republican and Democratic Conventions? A lot. Romney got lots of laughs when he said “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.” The end of world as we know it is not a laughing matter from my perspective and the scientific knowledge that informs it. More than anything else I want my daughters and granddaughters to be able to have a good life on as predictable of a political and climatological playing field as is possible.
I wish everyone would take the world’s situation with the seriousness it deserves. My heart aches when I think about what we could be doing to slow the changes that are escalating all around us. Our grandchildren will not understand why we allowed this to happen to their world. Playing politics when our world’s climate is destabilizing is selfish, short-sighted, and unforgivable. Making jokes about the change to our world is disgusting. Refusing to act on the change that we know is happening for personal gain, is criminal.
This week as I watch the Democratic National Convention I will be watching for remarks about future worlds that will be very real for the little ones I so love.