When I see scenes like the ‘sandbag central’ Fargo stadium — thousands of people shovelling sand, making and piling sandbags, fighting together for their city — my heart swells. It is the community of shared adversity.
CBC-TV had a camera crew wandering around the stadium interviewing people and they zeroed in on one little blonde haired girl of 7 or 8 years. “Why are you doing this?” asked the interviewer. “For my city, for my family,” said the little girl. But the thing that struck me was that all the time she was being questioned, she never stopped working. When it came down to it, she had her priorities straight.
This has been one of my unspoken, background hopes in the long twilight struggle to deal with global warming — that people would find community when the reality of the threat became unavoidable.
There are many problems with the idea. The first is perception. A Keeling Curve is not like the Red River rising. The danger is not immediately obvious. Another is the time factor. Our climate today is a result of the emissions, the energy balance of the past 50 to 100 years. The danger is not clear until it is too late.
And if, in the absence of enlightened leadership, some technological wizard should craft a geoengineering miracle to solve our climate crisis, we would still face the ecological crunch. We have exceeded the planet’s carrying capacity and will have to rectify that account as well.
These are difficult, if not intractable problems; still…sandbag central is inspiring.