You Can All Stop Worrying About It – The Planet Will Be Fine.

December 30, 2009

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.

And if you happen to like this post and think someone could use reading it, I would appreciate if you passed it along so we can spread the message. Thanks!

About the Author:

After a varied past of being a test driver for automotive television programs, a Hollywood studio lackey, and an online media sales director, David is now the publisher and editor of The Good Human. In his spare time he rides motorcycles, drinks good beer, and builds stuff in the garage. You can follow him on Twitter at @thegoodhuman or G+ at Google
Like this post? If so, please consider subscribing to my full feed RSS. Or, if you would prefer, you can subscribe by Email:

Enter your email address in the box below. Address will only be used to deliver a daily email and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Comments (8)

  1. Dawn says:

    Your first comment in bold reminded me of a wonderful book that shows that in action – Earth Abides. I really love how it shows when things are out of control the Earth and Disease kicks in to clean up.

  2. This is exactly what I think is wrong with the environmental movement.

    We make it about the earth. Over and over again we pound it in to everyone’s head that the earth needs our saving.

    No, the earth does not need our saving. WE DO. We need to save ourselves.

    People care about themselves more than they do about the planet, and if we’re going to get everyone on board they need to know what’s in it for THEM.

    Mother Earth will go on and do her thing with or without us. If we don’t get our act together, that THING will likely be bitch slapping us out of the gene pool.

  3. Larson says:

    I definitely agree that taking a less “save the planet” approach will get more people on board.

    Unfortunately, I’m reminded of some distinct differences in political ideologies. One of those being that certain people really do not care what happens to future generations. They care about themselves and maybe their surrounding region, but they do not care at all about future generations. So long as global warming won’t cause them to die prematurely, they will not care about it.

  4. Actually I think this is the point we need to somehow wise the general up to and start living more sustainably. Not sure how we’ll get there… we seem so divided and addicted to consumerism. I suspect it has to come one person at a time.

  5. misterbarnes says:

    Ha! Humans and their audacity, their arrogance, and down right ignorance. We have raped and pillaged the earth far too much for us to continue our current collective lifestyle. I am surprised at how helpless and hopeless our race seems to be. No jobs? There is more to do now than in any time in history. Our job as an evolved species, as other species contribute to the health and wealth of the planet, is to utilize technologies to assist the earth in regaining its abundance. We need to bring down the walls of our imagined identities and realize we all only have one identity, that being, human. All humans need to make an effort to extend a hand to the planet by cleaning up neighborhoods to replanting entire rainforests and shutting down heavy carbon emissions and anything else that can be done to restore or rebuild the planet. Until we all can come to grips with being secondary to the longevity of the planet we won’t be able to save ourselves. It is going to take a rapid and unique style to bring about the necessary changes to sustain. But, how fast can the message be spread?

  6. Vanessa says:

    Great post. Watching a documentary called Life After People only reinforced my beliefs that WE’RE the ones who need saving. How to get people to even care about that is the hard part.

  7. It’s really sad and selfish that people of this generation have no consideration for the next. I want my daughter to have the same and better experiences I did on a very similar earth. If we don’t make some major lifestyle adjustments, that will not be possible. I hate that people just think about themselves and not the next generations…
    -Sylvia

  8. Keith Farnish says:

    Sorry to make a long comment, but it’s my Simple Message For Humanity, and it lines up with David’s almost exactly:

    “Human activity is destroying the natural systems that we depend upon for our survival. Our most basic instinct as humans is to survive; yet we continue to destroy our life-support machine. Connected humans understand this terrible contradiction; disconnected humans are not able to.

    Not all humans are responsible: just those who are part of Industrial Civilization. Industrial Civilization depends on economic growth and the unsustainable use of natural resources, so it has developed a complex set of tools for keeping people disconnected from the real world and living a life that keeps civilization running. Humans have been manipulated in order to be part of a destructive system.

    The only way to prevent global ecological collapse and thus ensure the survival of humanity is to rid the world of Industrial Civilization.

    Civilization is complex and delicate: it depends on everything running smoothly and also depends upon people having faith in its goodness. Global ecological systems are changing in unpredictable and major ways; natural resources are running out rapidly; the population is growing, particularly the population of urban areas; there is considerable political and civil unrest developing throughout the world: any combination of these factors are likely to lead to a sudden and catastrophic collapse of civilization during the 21st century.

    It is possible to create a situation where civilization is left to crumble gradually, reducing the impact on humanity, and the sooner this is done, the less the global environment will be harmed. The key things we need to do are:

    1) Reconnect with the real world, so that we can understand our close relationships with it in everything we do. The more you connect, the more you will realise how unreal civilization is.

    2) Live in such a way that we do not contribute to the expansion of the global economy, reducing our impact on the natural environment in the process. Be aware that authority figures within the system, such as political leaders and corporations, will attempt to provide you with ”˜green”™ advice: this advice is designed to ensure that civilization continues, and should be ignored.

    3) Create the conditions so that others may also change through education and, even more importantly, undermining the tools that civilization uses to keep us part of the machine. Don”™t waste time protesting: this changes nothing ”“ that is why it is legal.

    A future outside of civilization is a better life; one in which we can actually decide for ourselves how we are going to live.”

    Thanks, Keith.