Climate Change: A GLOBAL TITANIC

There were many factors that led to the sinking of the Titanic and the death of so many; most of them were caused by human ignorance.

The first was the rush to get the ship to its destination in order to gain reputation and financial success. Secondly the numbers of life boats were reduced to make the ship look more aesthetic. Thirdly the belief that the ship was unsinkable created a false sense of security which led to an imprudent attitude about how robust the ship was matched against the power of the ocean. Finally those on the ship were so absorbed with their personal affairs that the idea Titanic was sinking wasn't taken seriously until it was plainly obvious.

Why do I bring up these factors? Well there is a striking resemblance between the human ignorance that led to the sinking of the Titanic and the sinking of our whole existence owing to climate change. It seems that the first factor that led to the sinking of the Titanic was greed. In the same way, governments and corporations continue to put economic motives above the very thing that sustain us - the environment. As a consequence, we are heading speedily towards a metaphorical iceberg; (if there are any left) and our eyes have been firmly closed about this for some time. Secondly we are putting our own aesthetic values of materialism over the planets ability to cope; putting aesthetics over safety will always lead to failure.

Thirdly the belief that humanity is indestructible and that all the things we have created and accumulated are enduring, has given rise to a false sense of security. In the image of the Titanic, our fixed assumptions like the proclamation "Titanic is unsinkable", echoes the sentiment "The world will always be the same no matter how much we consume". Anything created by the mind of (hu)man is minute compared to the might created by nature. This was laid bare for all to see on that fateful night when the so-called mighty Titanic sank. The idea that climate change will radically affect the so-called mighty humanity within the first half of this century is inconceivable to most of us. We have all built a false sense of security about this sinking ship by clinging to our personal and collective presumptions which we take so much for granted. Unless we take intelligent action, question our presumptions and climb out of our compliancy, then the ship will surely sink.

Finally an obvious parallel is this - those people on the Titanic were so absorbed with their own personal affairs that they didnt open their eyes to see the reality until the very last moments. It is also the case that climate change is clearly the biggest threat to human existence and yet it still isnt taken seriously and given priority over everything else. It seems that we are ignoring the fact that it is already a reality and not just an abstract concept far away in the future. We continue to put our petty political, religious, social, economic and personal soap operas above the sinking ship that contains us all. Perhaps the most chilling thing about human ignorance is that while the Titanic was sinking, people only started to take action when it was too late. I wonder if the same human ignorance will take place in the advent of climate change as it progressively gets worse or have we learnt from our mistakes? Are we acting with greater intelligence? It appears that this is not the case since we are not seriously doing anything about it right now. It may not be too late for us just yet; however, the ship is already sinking.

By James

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