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Warning… spoilers ahead!!!
Remember when Game of Thrones was so huge? Everyone would tune in each Sunday night to HBO to watch because this fantasy world felt so real and captivating. One thing that really struck me was how the show had many elements that paralleled many things happening in our own world. There was a class struggle, political wheeling & dealing, and even climate change!
The author of the series, George R.R. Martin himself said his books were parallel to climate change. He told the New York Times:
“The people in Westeros are fighting their individual battles over power and status and wealth. And those are so distracting them that they’re ignoring the threat of ‘winter is coming,’ which has the potential to destroy all of them and to destroy their world… while we’re tearing ourselves apart over this and expending so much energy, there exists this threat of climate change… climate change should be the number one priority…”
That’s right! Game of Thrones was also about climate change. Just think about it for a second. The White Walkers were bringing about complete change and utter destruction. In real-life we are seeing climate refugees and a destroyed environment already.
How many times did we hear the phrase, Winter is Coming? It was so ominous and no matter which family was fighting with whom it was always there in the background. The threat of winter would not stop. The White Walkers and their vast army were barreling down from beyond the wall to destroy everyone and everything in their path. That’s exactly what we face with climate change. It is an existential threat that will take us all under if we don’t address it.
Without a doubt, climate change is coming. The scientific facts are there to prove it. Major changes have to happen if we are going to deal with this threat. But we’re too busy worrying about who will sit on the Iron Throne to address the real issues. The threat of climate change has been long coming. The war between the First Men and the Children of the Forest created the White Walkers. And similarily, our destruction of the natural environment has brought about climate change. But just like the show, only when alliances are created then the White Walkers and the threat of climate change can be stopped.
In the show, Jon Snow said, “How do I convince people who don’t know me that an enemy they don’t believe in is going to kill them all?” Well, that is what we have to do. We have to trust climate scientists and follow the activists. We have to believe that there really is a problem before we can tackle it. We are past the point of no return and permanent damage is already being done. But only if we band together and face the challenge head-on do we have a chance to stop it.
The White Walkers and Climate Change will change our natural environment forever. The people of Westeros were powerless to stop it and had very little hope. In fact, many didn’t think the threat was real and were fighting over power, status, and wealth instead of addressing the biggest issue at hand.
Like in the show, when the armies of men combine and use everything at their disposal can they hope to face this challenge. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen assemble everything they have. With their troops, dragons, and magic, they try to fight the While Walkers off. In the TV show, Arya Stark is the one to deal the final blow. With the flair of a due ex Machina, Arya stabs the Knight King with her dragon glass dagger and ends the battle. The dagger was a simple and fantastical solution to the existential climate threat.
Technological solutions to climate change are this dragon glass dagger. They are a possible solution to our climate change problem. But they are currently too unrealistic and will require somewhat of a miracle to work. Our best solution is what is proposed in the books. That is, we all have to band together, forget our petty squabbles, and address the issue collectively. When we work together, we will see a real impact.
Winter can be Stopped!
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