Fracking Friday: You Can’t Get There From Here

I have a reading scheduled tomorrow in Ithaca but I can’t get there from here.

Almost halfway between Ithaca and my house is the city of Buffalo, New York, which is currently digging its way out from under eight feet of snow, with a forecast of unseasonably warm temperatures and rain ahead. We’ve sadly postponed our visit.

In many ways, though, the reason for the postponement only serves to underline the need for us to think very seriously about climate change and our role within it. I’ve been watching the Weather Network all week as we’ve tried to make our decision. They have a nightly feature called something like Freaks of Nature, where they show flooding and extreme weather around the planet. Increasingly we are seeing what climate change models predicted: more and more extreme weather patterns, precisely like the one in Buffalo this week.

At one point in Ithaca, Daisy is distracted in a conversation with a friend. She is standing in the grocery store parking lot and he’s idling his car while he talks to her. She thinks of the fossil fuel being burned as they talk. We need to think about the fossil fuel we burn unnecessarily.

A big frustration I have with those who decry climate change is the fact that at the core is an unwillingness to make change. They are determined to disprove clear evidence–in order that they don’t have to change.

My son is playing for a sports team that practises more than an hour from our house. I insist that we carpool, that we visit people or coordinate these trips with other activities–that we make the fossil fuel really count. I say put on a sweater or wool socks, rather than turn up the heat.

I’m not saying sit around and shiver. I’m not saying we can’t drive to Toronto. I’m saying we need to be mindful of where we idle our tanks obliviously.

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