As soon as I sat down, Camp had news for me. Not good news, just some numbers and figures. ‘For 33 days, the global average temperature at the sea surface has not fallen below 21 degrees, according to data from the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This has never happened since satellite records began in 1981,’ he said.  ‘Usually, a period of cooling begins from mid-March. Now we are at the end of April, and there are still no signs of a drop in temperature.’

‘Well, around here it’s still rather cool, too cold to swim for me.’

He ignored me. ‘Here is another interesting stat. ‘So far this year the world population has increased by 22 million people, about the population, of Ontario (15mio), Alberta (4.5mio) and BC (5mio) together. All that in just 4 months.’ 

‘Ok, so what you’re saying is the world and the oceans are warming up; there are millions of more people who all want more stuff and the world isn’t getting any bigger.‘

‘You got the gist,’ Camp said, leaning back in his chair. ‘We’re fucked.’

‘I want to point out to you that all is not lost. The trees are budding, the spring flowers are blooming, the seeds are sprouting and our garden looks the best ever. That is a project we can do something about and I’ll be damned if I just sit around and think about the demise of the human project. Moping in gloom and doom is not a healthy mental condition and is mostly the territory of old people. And I’m not old, just older.’

‘Twist it any which way you want, the facts are the facts and they don’t lie,’ Camp said. I didn’t argue. What’s the point.

‘Hey, hey, don’t take it so personal. I just wanted to point out that as a species we’re very successful, even evolved a conscience, language, we can record  the past and predict the  future but as a whole we are also very destructive. Is there a way out of the inevitable? Can we change the course? Can the world support 10 billion people? Is there a future for our grandkids?’

‘Well Camp, for once I want to be the optimist in the room. As individuals we are going to have a future but as a species we’re destined to extinction, if in a billion years or in a thousand years, or in five hundred years, that is the question. We want it to last as long as possible but like any party, it has to end at some time. At least we had a good time, none better than our generation.’

‘As Robert Louis Stevenson said: Sooner or later everybody sits down to a banquet of consequences. Will we be invited? And if so, should we celebrate or is it going to be a wake?’

‘You’re in a weird philosophical mood today. What brought this on?’

‘I’m just trying to figure out when we took the wrong fork in the road to the future? Did it start with Kennedy’s assassination or was it when Bush stole the presidency from Al Gore? Where did it all go wrong?’

Instead of an answer I focused on my beer. ‘Maybe it was long before that,’ I said, ‘maybe when agriculturists replaced the hunters and gatherers, which led to private property, feudalism and the hunger for more.’

‘Greed,’ is that what you think?  Is it greed when you want a better car, a newer house, a bigger boat? Are we never satisfied with our lot and do we constantly strive to improve and change it?’

‘You are in a funky mood Camp,’ maybe you should take a holiday, go for a road trip, get out of doge. You’ve been stuck in that store of yours for much too long without a break.’

‘I like my store, it’s my life, my comfort zone, my income,’ Camp said, ‘but maybe you’re right. Change is the only thing that endures,’ I read somewhere and change is what we all need to keep us interested in this thing called life.’

‘Here is a new beer we’re trying out,’ Vicky said, depositing two fresh mugs in front of us. ‘They’re on the house. Maybe change it up a bit.’

‘That’s just what we’re talking about,’ Camp said, changing it up a bit. Might as well start with a new beer.’ 

1 thought on “Change

  1. I would side with Camp here. I attribute the unfolding disaster to inborn drives for reproduction, competition, and niche modification. You can blame your parents, Mother Nature and Father Time. My new book Eclipse has a bit more to say about this.


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