It’s us that I am worried about.
It’s true, most of the living things on the planet are going to take a mean beating if things continue to warm up as every credible scientist on earth seems to believe, but the planet itself will be perfectly fine…it will still be here long after we are gone. It’s the humans and all the animals that might not make it through the climate change, and that is why I have been giving something a lot of thought.
I think we need to change the message of the environmental movement.
See, there are still millions of people that think that global warming and all the problems it could bring is a hoax set upon us by…well, I am not sure who is doing it. People still think that A. it is not happening and B. that the planet will figure out a way to save itself. As for A, I think all they have to do is start reading scientific reports about it to see that it is indeed happening and is not just some cyclical “thing” that happens now and then. As for B, I agree with them 100%…the planet will figure a way to survive global warming and fix it by getting rid of the problem, which is us. We are the problem. We are causing it. The unending assault on the environment by carbon dioxide emissions, our cars, our coal plants, our strip-mining of the earth, our pollution of our oceans and waterways with toxic sludge and wayward plastics, and our disregard for our natural forests and environment is leading us down a very dangerous precipice that everyone should be equally concerned about. But they are not and that is because human beings believe that they are in-fact infallible and could never cause the damage that scientists are telling us that we are causing. So I think we need to change the message to one of a more personal concern.
Telling people that the environment is hurting does not seem to change any minds. Telling them that their water supply is in danger does not seem to bother them. That is why we need to start admitting that the planet will be fine even with global warming, it’s just that we won’t be here anymore. Maybe then people will start to care enough to do their small part to clean up their act. Maybe if we stop harping on the animals and the rain forest and the polar bears and begin concentrating on people’s own families, their children, their grandparents, their future generations, we can get their attention.
You can leave out the part about peak oil as people just say that technology will save us. You can leave out the part about flood waters invading Manhattan, as technology will save us. You can even leave out the part about buying a hybrid vehicle, as people just say they cannot afford one. None of this matters to the naysayers, as none of it is any concern to them. They just think that some magic pill will come along to save humanity, just as we all fall for every pharmaceutical ad on the TV telling us we need medicine for this, that and the other thing. Someone will save us, so why worry?
Begin by asking them what will happen if no one does save us. Ask them if they care if any future generations of their family will get to live on planet earth the way we all got to, or will they be punished for the inaction by us, the current residents. Ask them why it is a bad thing for us to care about the only planet we have been given. Ask them just how painful it is to put a soda can in a blue container out back rather than a black one. Make it more personal. Make it so they can be more involved. From an abstract point of view, the average human sees the earth as much bigger than themselves, and thus much more powerful…and as such can fix itself without our help. And it fact it will…by getting rid of us.
So when you have a chance, change the message. I think that is the only way we can start to get through to all the people who don’t seem to give a damn that global warming is happening, because no one sees it as an imposition on their own personal life. This needs to change, and it needs to change quickly before the earth finally does fix the problem.
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