GUEST OPINION: Climate Change is my fault

By on April 7, 2015
A large gap between treeline and the water level in California’s Shasta Lake on August 25, 2014, is one sign of the state’s devastating drought. Shasta Reservoir is at 30 percent of its total capacity and 47 percent of its historical average capacity. (Photo credit: California Department of Water Resources.)

A large gap between treeline and the water level in California’s Shasta Lake on August 25, 2014, is one sign of the state’s devastating drought. Shasta Reservoir is at 30 percent of its total capacity and 47 percent of its historical average capacity. (Photo credit: California Department of Water Resources.)

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – 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 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 some 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. Impossible like ignoring the fact that I cracked a filling a year ago and went to see the dentist just 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. So 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, conserving water, not littering, 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 myself a congratulatory pat on the back for not being like the guy 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 misinformed education 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 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 me or you, or 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 ole red-blooded ignorance… that’ll never run dry.

Visit www.protectourwinters.org to learn what you can do to raise awareness about climate change.

This piece originally appeared online at www.snowboardmag.com as part of Nate Deschenes’ series, “Called Out.”

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About Nate Deschenes

2 Comments

  1. blinderson

    April 12, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Don’t worry everyone, just keep pumpin out the babies…population growth has nothing to do with environmental problems.

  2. NotBlind

    April 13, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.

    Embrace the future. There’s no to spend time and money trying to change the natural course of events.

    Climate change is nice. Bring it on. The worst thing that could happen is the best thing for the planet.

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