Concern for the environment has long been important around Casa de SJ. We’ve recycled from the beginning, cleaned litter from roadsides and do most of our driving in a Prius, as we have for most of the 21st Century. It’s not because it’s a good-looking
pod car. We have a deep abiding respect for the natural beauty that was once this country. And while we’re not climate scientists, we are fully prepared to rely on and believe those who are that global warming is real and a critical danger to humanity.
So why, then, do climate activists make me want to do unspeakable things to their arms?
This has now happened numerous times with numerous masterpieces. Apparently, pathologically narcissistic children believe their wanton destruction will somehow achieve something beyond their momentary adoration among their handful of delusion comrades, like 15 seconds of infamy. What they are incapable of grasping is that no one wants to associate themselves with any “movement” including anyone as despicable and twisted as them.
But just because stupid children latch onto a quest doesn’t mean global warming isn’t happening or doesn’t matter, as easy as it may be to dismiss the cause by the company it keeps. Of course, those pushing the cause have done pretty much everything in their power to assure its abject failure. Remember AOC’s Green New Deal, which couldn’t figure out whether it was about global warming or racism, and so was about nothing and couldn’t arrive at a coherent and actionable plan, but offered absurdly painful burdens without any means of accomplishing anything useful?
We don’t have the technology.
We don’t have international cooperation and agreement.
We reject nuclear power.
We don’t have a plan that people can execute and live with.
As long as the nutjobs on the fringe are gluing their hands to paintings, or spewing childish nonsense in Congress, can we come up with a serious solution of a problem of this magnitude that might have any chance of happening? Maybe there is hope (if these stupid little shits don’t ruin it).
But small changes inevitably raise the question of whether personal choices can truly make a difference. Beyond the obvious — recycling, taking public transit, eating more plants, etc. — what can individuals possibly do to ameliorate a problem so immense and so overwhelming?
The solution is to offer a vision of a better future. People are willing to make all sorts of changes if they’re convinced it will make a difference. Democrats aren’t coming for your hamburgers, contrary to what Fox News might tell you, but eating one-fifth less beef can cut global deforestation, a leading driver of climate change, in half. With stakes so high and inconvenience so low, who wouldn’t happily cut beef consumption by 20 percent?
Is that it, cut out a couple burgers and problem solved? Well, not quite.
It’s true, of course, that individual actions alone cannot solve the problem of a burning world, but that doesn’t make individual action merely a symbolic drop in the bucket brigade. Dr. Hayhoe cites successful examples of sweeping historical transformation in pointing out the power of advocating for change, individual by individual.
Fine, so individuals as well as governments have a role to play. So?
“When you look at how women got the right to vote,” she said, “it wasn’t because the president woke up one morning and said, ‘Women should have the right to vote.’ It was because women used their voices consistently to advocate for that change.
Well, that’s a completely inapt analogy, as if we can pass a law that says “Global warming is illegal” and that means it’s over. Got anything that would get you better than a C- on a sophomore essay?
First, undercut the politics. Becoming a climate activist doesn’t require changing political parties or renouncing long-held values. “It’s really a matter of showing people that they are already the perfect person to care because of who they are, and that climate action would be an even more genuine expression of their identity,” said Dr. Hayhoe. “It’s about holding up a mirror and reminding people that they want to be a good steward, that they want a better future. That’s when we see change.”
I want to be a good steward. I want a better future. But no, that’s not when we see change. We see change when we have an actually doable action plan with highly specific and achievable goals that are accepted by all the parties required if they’re to be effective.
Spewing rosy platitudinous rhetoric may well move people to declare themselves to be concerned and ready to act. But without anything to act on, so what? And even if I were to garage the Prius next to the Healey and ride a bike while chewing celery from now on, it wouldn’t do a damn thing to end global warming.
I have no clue whether “extreme weather” is a product of global warming or just a weather anomaly, as we’ve had many time in history. I have no clue how high the oceans will rise and whether they would have risen with or without an industrial revolution. And yet I am still prepared to accept the advice of serious scientists that this is a real problem.
So why, then, are climate activists both within and without governments incapable of creating a serious, focused, doable fix, and instead doing everything in their power to cause any hope of solving global warming to be rejected, be ridiculed, and fail? Maybe the stupid children gluing themselves to paintings are no worse than the adults, who have nothing better to offer to fix this very critical problem.