Angelina Jolie, every adolescent man’s (read every male given brain development) video game fantasy woman declared earlier this year that she had undergone a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction as genetic testing had determined that she had a very high risk of developing breast cancer. Her own personal story includes a mother who died from her own hereditary risk of cancer which she unknowingly passed to her daughter.
Angelina essentially cited the evidence (let’s call this science), common sense and a strong desire to protect the future of her children. In the latter case it was the ability to raise them to adulthood and seeing their own destinies unfold.
Let’s compare and superimpose these arguments on the debate around climate change.
The science says the planet is warming and it is our fault. If the planet keeps warming then there will be increasing numbers of climate related disasters, sustained food and water insecurity and economic failure i.e. planetary cancer.
Common sense says that even if these predictions aren’t 100% accurate (Angelina’s chances of cancer are not 100%) then at least it takes reasonable steps to mitigate them. In the case of climate change the common sense argument is even stronger: we can see with our own eyes the current effects of man on the environment and we can take active steps to reduce our so called carbon-footprint.
Finally, Angelina acted to on behalf of her children. In the case of climate change let’s consider our children and future generations. I saw a great mock advertisement today of an ever thinner iPad being handed to an ever thinner African child. Perhaps, if we don’t act on climate change then this will be our legacy. Angelina acted, maybe society should too?