Climate Collapse and Long Showers

The problem with the label “Global Warming” is that, although technically correct, it lacks punch.

'Apocalypse' Photomicrograph of organic crystals by John Chesluk, 1984

A much better term would be Climate Collapse.  That’s the end result of the fact that our atmosphere is getting cumulative hotter, quickly. And that’s what’s really important, not the process of how we get there.  At least, that’s what’s important if you want to communicate the dire importance and urgency of our situation.  Climate Collapse will get the attention of those who are still doubtful or ignorant about it all.

Climate Collapse is coming.  It will kill you and your government is not doing anything to protect you from it.

This, I claim, has more punch and makes it a little more accessible to a wider audience.

Another way to make the whole thing more accessible to people is with an analogy to (very) long showers.

When you first get into your shower, the water heater is full of hot water and you normally have to also open the cold water tap to make it comfortable.  As the water run, there’s less hot water in the tank but, hey, you can keep it comfortable but turning down the cold water.  The water keeps running, and you keep reducing the amount  cold water and everything goes on as before.  However, there comes a point when this “strategy” won’t work anymore.

After running the water for a long enough while, you’ll run out of hot water.  So, even though you’ve now shut down the cold tap completely, the water is not getting any warmer.  In fact, the whole thing is getting more uncomfortable.  Waiting for the water to get hotter makes no sense any more.  In fact, the longer you wait to get out of the shower, the colder, and more uncomfortable the whole thing will get.  The hot water system will collapse, no longer able to deliver hot water and you’ll be very unhappy indeed.

That’s similar to what’s happening to our atmosphere right now.  It’s getting hotter and we continue to pump more heat into it.  In a sense, we continue to let the water run in the hope that it will get comfortable again. Heck, we’ve been doing it for years and it has not hurt us, right?  The problem is that, like our water heater, there’s only so much that the system can take before it just breaks down and collapses.  Of course, in the case of our atmosphere, it will not only get uncomfortable, it will kill us.

Do what you can to reduce your energy consumption and to encourage alternatives to our oil addiction.  Shut down the water tap when you’re washing your teeth.  Vote for people who get it and will do something about it, quickly.

And get out of the shower and leave some hot water for the rest of us, OK?

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