Given the COP26 action plan, this is hilarious. It’s also depressing, because it shows how absurd the whole climate change action plan really is. Taking baby steps when we should be single-minded in preventing this planet becoming hostile to human life.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the billions that may be released for green initiatives every year. It’s that I don’t see anything that makes me think we are treating climate change like the life-or-death emergency it is.

Imagine you’re in a spaceship floating through space. A spaceship whose life support systems make it self-sustainable by offering its passengers all the oxygen, all the food and clean water, and the energy they need to thrive. Not survive, but thrive. An environment that, if not pushed beyond its limits, can sustain itself forever. Just as well, because this is the only spaceship you have.

Lose it, and you’re done.

But there’s an idiot tampering with the life support systems. Because it’s “profitable”. Because the idiot says, it will give everyone snazzy new devices to waste time on and make spending money easier.

And he’s not alone. There are other idiots who drive the systems harder, because it increases margins. Because it drives production efficiency. Because it allows 24-hour shipping, and bigger SUV’s, and 245 channels all beamed into your living room for your viewing pleasure. Never mind that the sweatshops where consumer products are produced have nets to catch suicidal workers. Never mind that the process poisons your water and gives you cancer and takes away your children’s right to live on this spaceship. Elsewhere in the spaceship, people are already dying.

What do you do to those idiots?

Stick them in an airlock and blast them out to space?

But we don’t. Why are we talking about plans that might have an impact by 2050, while our actions point to a different direction? Why are we talking about phasing out coal, but not doing a thing about the fossil fuel industry subsidies? Why are we not killing the companies that are responsible for climate change?

Oh, you think I’m missing the financial complexities of saving the environment? We carried out total war on a planetary scale twice in the 20th century. We split the atom. We put a man on the moon. I’m sure we can figure this out.

This is where we’re heading. This is what’s already happening. Climate refugees. Extreme weather. Agricultural failure. Now. Not in some science fiction movie.

So, please, take the idiots messing with the life support systems seriously. Stop buying from the Nestle’s of the world. Choose renewable energy. Vote for the people whose concern is the survival of the species rather than maximizing profits for the Bezos’ of the world. Then, hold them accountable.

As a person I greatly admire always says, “actions matter more than words”. Do you have full control over climate change? Of course not. Because, in the end of the day, it is a complex issue. Does that excuse you from not doing everything you can to stop the idiots messing with the life support systems?

You tell me.

So, here’s the thing about this spaceship we’re riding on. It’s becoming harder to survive in it. The temperature inside the cabin is rising. We’re eating things we wouldn’t even touch before, because we’re depleting our stores. As a matter of fact, the air is so filthy in here, we’re literally dropping dead.

In the face of all this, what are you and I supposed to do? What are we supposed to do to mitigate such apocalyptic destruction as the Gulf of Mexico drowning in oil, or the Pacific drowning in plastic? Governments are not in a hurry to fix things, because that would mean making sacrifices most people are not ready to accept.

A gentleman called Jadav Payeng decided he wouldn’t rely on anyone to save his island from erosion. He did it himself -by planting a forest bigger than the Central Park on it. Let that sink in. One person. 550 hectares of green anchoring an entire island, providing refuge for endangered species, and also supporting this man’s livelihood (he has a farm on the island itself). This is Homo sapiens living in balance with his environment, giving and taking, both thriving. This is not tree-hugging, this is being smart about surviving in the only planet we have.

Now, does this mean you should go and plant a forest? If you live on an island about to get washed away, yeah. Do it. Don’t wait for help, no one is coming to save you, most likely. Or set aside an hour every other week to help pick up trash from your local forest, like my neighborhood does. Or recycle. Do something, anything, except believing that you can’t make a difference by yourself.

It’ll take a lot of effort and, just because you and I can do something, it doesn’t let governments and corporations off the hook. In fact, they have a lot to answer for, with the general tendency to shift blame to the people themselves and for stalling with the enforcement of policy-level changes. Check out this article about the argument for personal versus institutional responsibility over the climate crisis, as well as the tendency of a lot of environmentalists to absolve themselves from the need to act on an individual level.

This is not an either-or situation and, while we’re all arguing, the spaceship is getting hotter, the food is getting nastier, and more people are dropping dead. So, move. Get something done, plant a forest or whatnot. It beats sitting around arguing about whose fault it is.