Anandraj Singh, Staff Writer

Discussing anything even remotely related to climate change these days is a frustrating endeavor. If it’s not someone shouting, “the weather’s getting colder, so what the scientists say must be wrong,” or “it’s all just a conspiracy,” then it’s some other form of hatred.
It’s always a question about what one can do, how things are either being done out of proportion or not being done enough.

The lack of consensus on the issue alone is a sore selling point — as is the frustrating branding and marketing of it by both those for and against it.

Those against it nearly riot that it’s a conspiracy. Those that are for it either focus too much on condemning the former group, or not enough time to properly explain it to the common man.

What both groups fail to realize is that this entire affair with climate change is not about the weather. It’s not about how cold, hot, wet or dry it is wherever you are.

It isn’t even about the economy. The entire affair boils down to a simple, succinct little tablet of wisdom that has served to protect our ancestors for generations before they were even aware of or cared about the quality of the air they breathed. What was this wisdom, pray tell? Well, it’s simple enough to highlight: You do not live in your own filth.

It’s as simple as that. We’ve learned this fact over the centuries: that living in pools of our own unsanitary and unhygienic wastes bring diseases to the body, among other things.

Thus, we developed sewage systems, along with methods to dispose of our trash and to keep it away from our bodies. It is why your parents tell you to wash every day, to clean your room, keep it and yourself neat, tidy and remain presentable. Because if you let yourself run away and live in a cesspool of your own feces, you will eventually kill yourself.

It doesn’t matter if you are filthy rich or poor, neither disease nor bacteria care about anything other than the fact that you have a pulse.

But that is mostly for the stuff we know, hear, see and smell. What about CO2? Or the other gases and nasty elements we like to pump into the atmosphere that we don’t really like to pay attention to?

Just based on principle alone, if we pump out these gases haphazardly, as we do today, it means that they’re going to affect someone, somewhere.

Given just how scattered we are on the planet, I have no doubt that I am, in fact, breathing the waste products and gases of someone from Mexico or China right this instant and vice versa.

Due to this inter-connectivity, it basically means that anything we do to this system affects the entire system to varying extents or scales.
It may not affect it noticeably right now, but it will affect it in an oh-so-subtle way that we don’t quite understand due to its infinite complexity.

The only time we realize that it may be negative is when it’s too late; just like an infection of bacteria crawling into the skin and settling there, it makes itself known when it causes you to fall over dead or seriously inconvenience you.

In many ways, there’s very little difference between the Earth and our bedrooms. Both serve as environments in which we exist and live our puny, day to day lives. But where we spoil the bedroom with the possessions of a single individual, we spoil the planet with the possessions of six billion.

Global climate change is one symptom of this disease and laziness — even if the weather gets colder than it ever has in the past, it doesn’t change the fact that we possibly did it by simply refusing to clean up after ourselves.

But to do anything about it seems like a herculean task in itself. The primary issue that comes to the forefront is the same thing that haunts many climate change scientists: scale and complexity.

The enormity of our industrial roots and lifestyles make the sheer amount of waste we generate boggling to contemplate — and that is just in quantity.

Sifting through the different types of wastes alone and trying to sort it out, from the radioactive to the biodegradable, raises the complexity of the issue by an order of magnitude too far for even the best minds to think about — much less that of our sturdy politicians and senators.

Suddenly it isn’t just CO2 that’s an issue — it’s all the different kinds of filth that make their way into the water, our lungs or underground that we can’t see, hear or feel until they crawl up our pipes, clog up the drains or simply explode in our faces.

Sure, there’s enough space out there to not worry about it for the moment.

After all, out of sight is out of mind . . . but eventually, that space is going to run out, and it’s going to start strangling us by the neck.

The only main difference is if it’ll be our problem to deal with or someone else’s. After all, it’s naturally a human action to just pass the buck for someone else to deal with.

The only logical solution that presents itself is to go forward — and to do so in a blazingly fast manner to change the fundamental way of how we go about that entire industrial process.

However, given the resistance to change that is encountered these days in many institutes, both here and abroad, not even that seems possible.

Perhaps when people begin to realize the wisdom behind trying to avoid climate change, maybe we’ll be able to actually do something about it on a large enough scale to matter.

Until then, it looks like the only thing to do is twiddle our thumbs and see the hilarity of semantics being tossed back and forth.