Called Out: Climate change is my fault

It’s been a pretty testy winter to say the least. After four years of tragic snowfall amounts in the Sierra I want to yell out, “Can somebody please tell me what the fuck is going on with the weather?!” But the truth is, I know. We all know.

For a long time now we have been educated about global warming and the impending change to climate patterns. But we think, “Not here, not yet.” There is something of a lack of immediacy to it that makes it easier to assume otherwise or look the other way. Come out to Tahoe or Mammoth and try and look the other way. It’s impossible.

Illustration by Mark Kowalchuk

Like ignoring the fact that I cracked a filing a year ago and only going to see the dentist last week because it got to the point where I couldn’t gum down lukewarm gravy without a fiery, laser beam of hellfire back-handing my soul. My tooth, like the situation with our weather is most likely past the point of any corrective mitigation. My question is: Will it take mud coming out of our taps for the severity of the situation to sink in?

While far from wasteful or malicious towards the environment, if I’m to be honest, I almost feel guilty for enjoying the outdoors as much as I do. I feel like without a punch card validating your contribution to the environment you should have to stay inside and watch TV or something equally as disturbing.

Fact is, recycling, not littering or wasting water and the like is not “doing your part” — at this point it’s just stupid common sense. And while I may sit there and give my self a self-congratulatory pat on the back for not being like assface down the street horking darts and flicking butts near the creek that runs through town, all I’m trying to do is glorify my half-assed efforts to make myself feel better. Like it or not, the situation is at the point where anyone not actively doing something to raise awareness and help provide solutions (myself included), however minuscule or hopeless it may seem, is part of the problem. We may not have asked to bear the burden of previous generations greed and miseducation but it is nonetheless our responsibility to correct their shortsightedness, and unfortunately, this is not up for debate.

So when I start to get worked up that I didn’t get to ride more powder this season, instead of going to a place of anger, I feel sadness. I can literally sense the sickness in these mountains right now. I may as well complain that the grass isn’t greener.

How fucking entitled am I to even say some of the shit I do around my friends?

“I’m moving to a different town man!”

“Yeah, four years with no snow is just too much…”

It’s pathetic and if I decide to migrate to where there is snow next season it’s hardly different than ignoring another toothache until it rots away, in turn leaving the once pristine landscape of my face (much like California) looking like a haven for amphetamine and neglect.

What I’m trying to say is that I feel just as responsible for global warming as anyone. On the upside, I also understand that as you become more aware of certain realities it is your absolute duty to spread that kind of intelligence to your fellow man. So if the precursor to any action is a thought, then I can only hope that these thoughts I’m having bear fruit.

In the end, it’s all too obvious that many of us lazily coast through life without much of a care for what’s right or wrong so long as it doesn’t affect ourselves and those in our immediate circle of friends and family. It doesn’t take a socio-economic savant however, to understand that this kind of selfishness is obviously going to be our demise. With a little consideration, empathy and compassion for the greater thing that sustains us, I’m guessing things could be very different.

But then again this could simply be an anomalous weather pattern that has set up for the past four seasons. It has happened before, and there’s obviously nothing to it. I’m sure Bill O’Reilly will side with me here.

Ahh, that’s better… good ‘ol red-blooded ignorance… that’ll never run dry.

Read more of Nate’s strong opinions in his Called Out series.

Become involved with Protect Our Winters.


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