According to a 62-foot wide, 15-digit clock that faces Union Square in Manhattan, we have 7 years, 103 days, 15 hours, 40 minutes, and 7 seconds until the effects of climate change become irreversible. Or we had--since that was more than a month ago, we now have just about fifty days and seven years to change something, to do something.
Seven years seems like a long time, but it’s two Winter Olympic games. Seven years sounds like a long time, but it’s seven Christmases. Seven years feels like a long time, but it’s only enough time for Apple to release an iPhone 18--or whatever they decide to call it. Seven years appears like a long time, but it’s only a couple summer vacations and trick-or-treating sessions and birthday parties. Seven years is seven years, not even a decade and definitely nowhere near a century, and it’s not a long time.
For so long, we’ve slowly distanced ourselves from the atrocities we’ve been committing to our environment as the implications of those acts rapidly and swiftly approach us. Climate change is no longer a matter of the future, it’s a matter of--no, it’s not even a matter of. It’s now. We see it in the blazing fires and the bleak orange skies and the raging storms and the melting ice, and soon, we’ll see it everywhere.
The only thing we can do by turning away from and refusing to observe the rampant impact climate change is going to have on us is harm ourselves further. There’s no use denying it, arguing about it, or pushing against it. When we’re stuck with a particularly scary situation, our instincts point towards flight--but we have to fight. We have to recognize that this is our mess. We have to realize that there is no covering our eyes and running from this disaster. We have to promise to nature and to our communities that we will do better, then learn how to do better. Then, finally, we have to do better. For the budding trees, for the chirping, singing birds, for our children and for our grandparents--but most of all, for us.
We have to do, and the time is now.