What are we doing to this ‘Globe made out of Gold’?


Par Toula Foscolos
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Article mis en ligne le 4 janvier 2007

...The weather outside is frightful...

Am I the only one who noticed that Christmas felt eerily strange this year? There I was, driving to my parents’ home, with the radio blasting “Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful”, but I had my window down and my jacket off.

A glorious sun was shining brightly and the mild autumn-like breeze was hitting my face, and for a moment, I understood how people in Florida and Hawaii feel when they celebrate Christmas in the tropics. Like something’s not quite right; like something’s missing.

Invited to another party that night, my friends and I sipped wine and desperately tried to remember the last time we’d experienced a green Christmas. None of us could. Weaned on snow forts in our backyards and sudden blizzards that buried the city and closed our schools, Montrealers are the first ones to understand what a “White Christmas” is all about, but we’ve never had to dream of one. It was always there...

After opening our presents on Christmas, we all huddled around the TV, at the insistence of my 8-year-old niece who wanted to watch “Ice Age: The meltdown”. We all laughed at the silly antics of the sloth and the mammoth, but as I watched the prehistoric animals try to make sense of the melting ice caps and eventually outrun a flood that was coming their way, I felt an uneasy sense of foreboding wash over me. Cartoon or not, this was suddenly too close for comfort. I looked at my niece, giggling away, and wondered what kind of world we were leaving her.

The next day, I woke up to considerably colder temperatures and a blanket of snow covering my parents’ front lawn. Christmas had finally come; albeit a little late. Despite the fact that I honestly hate the cold, I breathed a sigh of relief. “This is what it’s supposed to look and feel like, this time of year,” I thought to myself. “All’s right with the world.”

But, of course, it isn’t. Ice caps are melting as we speak and the possibility of a major ice sheet in Greenland or Antarctica eventually collapsing, raising global sea levels and eventually flooding coastal areas is as real as the possibility that I gained five pounds during the holiday period. Which pretty much means that it’s a certainty. Unless we do something about it.

As meteorologists are calling for a freak high of 14C by the end of this week, it’s time that even the naysayers and those screaming that Al Gore is an alarmist stop burying their heads in the sand and take a second to reassess their thinking.

In their song, “The World”, rock group “Five for Fighting”, sing: “Got a package full of Wishes, a Time Machine, a Magic Wand, a Globe made out of Gold”. Perhaps there will come a time, real soon, that we’ll be wishing for a time machine and a magic wand, because we’re tarnishing that gold. Perhaps irreparably so...