A Climate Change Intervention
Disbelief in Global Climate Change is a mind-numbing, responsibility shirking, and reality escaping drug. And just as there is with every addiction, there comes point where the downward spiral can only be stopped by the tough love of friends and family -- it's time for an intervention. Like most families we can only help our addict if we all share in the responsibility.
Grandpa Smith is a disbelief addict. He's irrational in that he acknowledges the planet is warming, but ignores the same science when it shows the problem is human caused. But what about Cousin Sally? Sure she recycles, but if she really wanted to save the planet wouldn't she stop drinking bottled water? And then there's Aunt Edna, she's got enough money to own a zero carbon Tesla-S with its 5-star safety rating, but instead she commutes by herself, every day in a 7-passenger SUV (Silly Underutilized Vehicle) because her giant gas-guzzler just makes her feel safer. Uncle Ed, the long-haired activist, tells the college bound nephew and nieces that green energy is the future, but at the same time makes huge donations to the Sierra Club and other environmental groups who play into the fossil-fuel industry's hands by being green energy NIMBY obstructionists. Sam the son-in-law is quick to remind everybody that China produces the most CO2 and that families in India are too large, but doesn't think it's relevant that his American family of four has the same carbon footprint of 12 Chinese people or 36 Indians.
Who's the REAL planet raper here? Disbelieving Grandpa?
How would a Climate Change Interventionist help THIS family?
Step 1: Get everybody to stop finger pointing.
Step 2: Get the whole family to live by the understanding that "EVERYBODY does better, when EVERYBODY does better."
The problem with climate change is that most people only believe in what they WANT to believe in. And so until one resolves to be part of the solution, there's not much about climate change that anybody would want to believe in. Sometimes the hardest thing to believe in is our unintended consequences. When they are acknowledged, a moral responsibility urges us to make amends, or at the very least, to make different choices in the future.
Here's an example from my personal life.
|This is my youngest son Ray. He's a smart kid, smart enough (unlike me) to be a real astronomer when he grows up. But this year his grades have slipped. Instead of straight A's he's now bringing home some C's and once even a D! Now I could investigate this change, I could ask some tough questions, but what if the answers I discover are NOT what I want to believe in? So, Instead I've come to the belief that it must be the teacher's fault. I mean, that's what has changed this year -- the teacher.|
Alternatively, if I was to go to the trouble to confront his teacher, she might say "Me? No. I'm not Ray's problem Mr. Dark Ranger. I suggest that you ask him why he's not doing his homework." Then I'd have to confront my son. Instead of dinner-table conversation about whether hyper-novas or rapid stellar formation produce the strongest gamma ray bursts, I'd have to ask about the homework. "Ray? The homework is the easiest part! Why aren't you doing the homework?!"
Then he might retort, "I get started on the homework Dad, but then you're all like 'Ray come watch a couple of Top Gear episodes with me.' And then the homework doesn't get done... Dad!" And if I was to ask all those tough questions, I would discover that I'm a bad father!
And that's the last thing in the world that I want to believe in...
So, if it's all the same to the rest of you, I believe I'll just keep blaming it on the teacher...
I think that's where a lot of us are when it comes to climate change -- hiding behind a firm disbelief, doubling-down in the face of increasingly compelling evidence and persuasive arguments, slowly becoming more and more irrational, until hopefully somebody throws us A Climate Intervention.
So it is that I hope this section of my website serves a dual purpose. Perhaps it will save you from A Climate Intervention or better yet, help you help somebody else... not by nagging or arguing, but setting many good planet-hugging examples. Because if you read nothing else, please remember that "EVERYBODY does better, when EVERYBODY does better!"