Unsplash photo by Bob Blob

What’s the worst that could happen?

What if climate change is not real, and we act like it is?

This Friday there is a Climate Action strike happening in Invermere. Locals are joining in on on the international protest taking place in hundreds of locations around the world, with strikers demanding an end to the fossil fuel era. Advocates for the strike suggest there will be students, business leaders, possibly politicians and other interested parties in attendance.

Not everyone is on board with a climate action strike. If you are one of the people who still feel climate change is not real, let me ask you a question: what is the worst that will happen if we act like climate change is real, and it turns out that it is not?

If climate change is not real and we do nothing, well OK, then all this talk was for nothing.

What if it is not real, yet we act as though it is and work to make changes to our lifestyle, our government, and our planet? The result: we clean up the earth. We produce less emissions. We make smarter choices for our home energy, our transportation, and our lifestyles. We source food more ethically, and closer to home. We leave a better planet for the next generations.

On the other hand, what is the worst that will happen if we act like climate change is not real, and it turns out that we are wrong? We make the generations after us suffer. Maybe in your lifetime or mine, we might not see a drastic change. But what about when my kids are adults, and have kids of their own? Am I really willing to take the chance that this is all a big hoax, and do nothing?

If we decide to trust in the science of climate change, and get on board with the activtists around the world demanding more agressive policy change, then at least we can say we tried. We give it our best efforts and hope that we leave the next generations a better future.

I would argue that, up until this last generation, every cycle of humankind has left a ‘better’ planet for the next one: leaps in medicine, transporation, healthy food choices, democratic governments – all of it has left a legacy for generations after. But if we do nothing now, and climate change is real, then we leave the planet worse off.

We have a choice. And in Invermere this Friday, people are making the choice to stand up for action.

As internationally-famous activitist Greta Thunberg has said, “There are no gray areas when it comes to survival. Now we all have a choice. We can create transformational action that will safeguard the future living conditions for humankind, or we can continue with our business as usual and fail. That is up to you and me.”

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