Results of Idleness: The Parallels of Notre Dame + Climate Crisis

The absolutely devastating Notre Dame fire can be seen as a parallel representation of the catastrophic desolation we will be seeing globally if climate change is not immediately taken seriously. 

Let me explain...


Monday, my heart broke when I learned of the fire. 

Like many, I glued myself in front of the news, waiting and watching helplessly. 

I listened as the reporters spoke to onlookers, tour guides, historians. I tried to process the colossal loss that was happening right before my eyes. The history and culture that would forevermore exist only as a memory or replica. 

As I was sitting with this heaviness late in the night, words from one of the interviews earlier kept resurfacing in my thoughts. The woman said something like: “We’ve seen tell signs of decay within the Notre Dame for years, and despite our best efforts to raise awareness for government support, it was never taken seriously. I am devastated that this is happening, but I am not surprised.” 

2/3 of the historical landmark has been lost, and the reactions of grief and despair have poured out from world leaders and citizens far and wide. But grief and despair are not the only emotions steering us in this time of devastation… Last night, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that a fundraising campaign would begin today, and already we have seen an overwhelming amount of support. 

Despite warning signs, and the advise of experts, most precautions were delayed or ignored. It seems to be a pattern of the human existence that we need a near catastrophic event to kick our behinds into action. It takes loosing what we have to put things into perspective. Time and time again. 

I sat with this Monday night and I couldn’t help but see the parallels between what has happened to Notre Dame and what’s happening to our planet. I had an intense vision of Earths future, 4 degrees warmer, with 2/3 of it’s people being swept away by rising waters and forest fires. Major cities disappearing. Perhaps we would be able to salvage some of our most precious accomplishments. But for the most part, our world would never be the same. Life as we know it now would forever be nothing more than a memory. A lesson at best.

“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

We are, in fact, on track for four degrees of warming, more than twice as much as most scientists believe is possible to endure without inflicting climate suffering on hundreds of millions or threatening at least parts of civilization. This is all known to be true. But despite the best efforts of experts trying to warn and encourage proactive behaviour, we see very little being done by our governments. 

This is very important time to remember that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Very wise words by Benjamin Franklin.

Sure, when this time of climate crisis comes, we will see governments and world leaders finally stepping up, but at the cost of how much? Too often we take advantage of the great constants in our lives. 

The Notre Dame stood tall as a landmark for 800 years, through the French Revolution, through world wars. We often forget that just because something stands the test of time before our eyes does not mean it is indestructible. 

The absolute best time to act against climate change was 10 years ago. The second best time is today. 

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