There’s some kind of magic that happens when my kids are in the snow. They can spend hours building igloos and throwing themselves down sledding hills. They forget about the iPads and video games. They don’t even ask. They cry when I call them in well after it’s way too dark to be playing outside and their little cheeks and fingers are red and frozen. They somehow don’t even feel cold. They just feel like they’re immersed in magic.
I feel that magic when I finally get to the top of the ski resort, when I finally get to ski. I love the quiet. Views all around. No cell phone reception. All I want is to take it all in and make it last longer. To get to go down one more run marveling at my seven year old snow ploughing happily down the hill. He has no fear. Just fun.
Then, the thought creeps in. It happens every year now. I tell the thought to go away, but it nags me and stays with me. So I let it in. Just for a few minutes and then you have to go, I tell the thought.
The thought is this. I can’t loose snow! I want to ski with my grand kids. I want to watch them snowplough down the mountain. I want to build igloos with them. But I know, that might not be the case. The snow season is getting shorter each year. Snow accumulation is beginning later and it’s melting earlier. There simply might not be enough snow to keep the ski resorts open.
As I write I have to resist the urge to insert facts and figures about climate change. I like data, I like proof. I like quoting smart people who say smart things, but I think the thing that changes hearts and minds is a feeling of injustice. That’s how I feel about climate change. It just isn’t right that our children might not have snow.
There is an injustice being done to the next generation and the generations thereafter. Climate change is the most important issue of our time. Nothing compares, but it’s hard to put a feeling to something you can’t see. It’s easy to feel outraged at sexism, racism, poverty or war. It can be captured on film. You can see it.
It’s much harder to see climate change. There’s no face to it.
So I’m asking that you put a face to climate change. Make it your son or daughters face. Your niece or nephew. Your grand children. Picture them in magical snow. Rosy cheeked and smiling. Make that the face of climate change. Maybe if we have a face to go with the facts, then we can make progress.
I have no solutions today. Just thoughts of magical snow.
“It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home.”
– Carl T Rowan, American government official, journalist and author