Why has climate change become more of a buzzword now than the past few decades? Is it because of the increase in the communication media technology that everyone is made known about it? Or is it because of the population explosion that has diminished the earth from vital resources? Apparently, I would think that the average person would feel climate change is a problem because we aren’t ready or doing enough “to fix it”. From recent global events, we would think that the ‘countries’, governments and their leaders are to blame. But are we doing our daily bit towards this cause or to prevent further damage? Has media or external factors shaped us to think that climate change, urban design is the responsibility ‘of the other’? Well, I am not suggesting that we all turn into an Elon Musk, but I don’t see us talk about our daily responsibilities towards this cause as much as we debate this on a “global” perspective.
It’s our world and they are our cities. So we can’t actually pinpoint as to who plays what role and why. While we can certainly check the work done by public offices, put in charge for the same reason, do they turn out to become an excuse where we ‘get away’ from this? How easily do we say, perceive and believe that we are the dominant species on earth and that we’re also proud of it may be? So if we control earth, then why is it that when calamity strikes do we shrug responsibility and say that its something we didn’t do? Is it that we cannot comprehend that we are controlled by a mightier force? The planet itself? Going by our own forms of systems and governance, if we stake claim to all the good that happens on earth, we should be blamed as well. Reflecting on our systems today, have we just woken up to the fact that people and politics of governments need to do more towards global natural systems, just because a few powerful leaders still cannot comprehend what the problem actually is? Why did we ever not demand urban planning or climate change to be part of the political discourse? Do climate change and urban planning take the main stage in budgets of governments or in the syllabi of our primary education? I’m sure we are investing into this, but are we investing enough that matters? Do we have checks and balances in place, that monitors our own humanity of how much we need further prevent our own exploitation of the environment?
Perception and Perspective are the other problems, way more troublesome than the actual facts. While some reject facts simply based on misinformed belief or their innate stubbornness, others might not consider anything alarming just because a hurricane or a harsh summer may just be ‘one of those’ events. May be the average human cannot comprehend the gradual changes in food production, soil erosion, ice melting, among several others.
Speaking of the Prometheus and the Anthropocene, I am reminded of the final scene of the movie Lucy where we get a glimpse into the limits of our comprehension of our own brain and physical capacities, human power, and conquest of the world. This, in turn, reminds me of Michael Foucault, where he speaks of the Eye of Power and how we have this innate quality to perceive ourselves that we are in control or want to be in control. It is to our own benefit that we understand that Nature is and has been in the driver seat all along and we only a part of it. So it’s better we co-operate with it than steer it ourselves because we might just be thrown off our seats. Are we capable enough to comprehend what the magnitude of the Anthropocene is and therefore we do not have the required vision to preserve Earth for the Epoch that is within our imagination?
I would like to conclude by quoting the idea of what the author Stephanie Wakefield’s friend conveyed to her, that really touched me “…that divinity is your true power – which is also our true power, which is the power of the universe, which is the power of creation of our universe and reality.”