Woe is Me

In an earlier post I discussed my thoughts as to why people in developed nations are likely to want to ignore the issue of climate change.  Life is comfortable and easy; no-one is starving, so anyone or anything that comes along to disturb that will be in for a short shrift.

Also many of those to whom I’ve spoken about what I am doing have mentioned that persuading people to take action now focusses on the benefits of change rather than the potential risks.

This all adds up and makes sense.

As soon as you try to persuade someone to change what they are doing and have done for as long as they can remember, people will resist.  That resistance will grow further if there is a hint that what they are doing is actually a bad idea.  So it makes sense to avoid that conversation, that impasse, that conflict; to align with people’s values and demonstrate the benefits of change.

But…

While I recognise that as being sensible, I cannot but help think that the pace of change that can be achieved if all that is incentivising us is the potential benefits of green energy and other climate change mitigations, that the pace of change we will achieve will be too little, too late.

From what I understand from reading around the subject, we are fast running out of time to make the drastic changes needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change.  Climate change is already having a profound effect on our lives with only a 0.8°C change, and there is another 1°C to come that we cannot avoid, stored up due to the delay in the climate system.  There are tipping points out there that when reached will mean we lose any chance of redemption.

So maybe the message I should try to push is:

Look how great our lives could be if we embrace these changes – race to adopt new technologies, learn to enjoy each other’s company again and spend our time and money more wisely.  And bear in mind what we are letting ourselves in for if we don’t.  So let’s get on with it, there’s no time to waste.

Thoughts below as always.

John Bell,

Ordinary bloke

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5 thoughts on “Woe is Me

  1. I’m old enough to remember back in the 70’s when all right-thinking ecologists, as I aimed to be, were convinced that the world was actually about to be swept into a new ice age. The ‘precautionary’ measures, in case the more recent scare stories regarding warming were to be correct, that have already been passed into law are due to cost this country billions of pounds. Since there is a whole industry based on ‘climate change’ do not be surprised to find that the science will be bent to fit the paradigm. Follow the money. This is yet another case of big government and big business uniting in an unholy alliance to mislead the public and take us all to the cleaners.

    • A genuine thank you, Marcia, for your thoughts. I can understand what has lead you to this conclusion.

      I think this aptly demonstrates how saying anything about the negative consequences of climate change is something that people avoid, whether they are activists or not. All that is started is an argument about the science, where in fact what we can do about climate change ought to lead to savings and benefits rather than costing a lot. It is also true that the big money is actually in oil, not the ‘climate change industry’. There is documented evidence of big oil actively trying to hush the climate change science – I’m not sure there is the same of renewables?

      Incidentally, during the 70’s, most scientific papers on the subject were predicting warming – but the ice age ones got the press.

      In the thirty years leading up to the 1970s, available temperature recordings suggested that there was a cooling trend. As a result some scientists suggested that the current inter-glacial period could rapidly draw to a close, which might result in the Earth plunging into a new ice age over the next few centuries. We now now, due to the improvements in coverage of temperature records, that the cooling trend was most pronounced in northern land areas and that global temperature trends were in fact relatively steady during the period prior to 1970.

      At the same time as some scientists were suggesting we might be facing another ice age, a greater number published contradicting studies. Their papers showed that the growing amount of greenhouse gasses that humans were putting into the atmosphere would cause much greater warming – warming that would a much greater influence on global temperature than any possible natural or human-caused cooling effects.

      By 1980 the predictions about ice ages had ceased, due to the overwhelming evidence contained in an increasing number of reports that warned of global warming. Unfortunately, the small number of predictions of an ice age appeared to be much more interesting than those of global warming, so it was those sensational ‘Ice Age’ stories in the press that so many people tend to remember.

      See for example “The Myth of the 1970’s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus“, published by the American Meteorological Society in 2008.

  2. I also feel that the carrot only goes so far. I feel quite awkward in a community of friend with 4-wheel drives and multiple foreign holidays. Can you just go on pretending it’s OK and quietly choose another path or must we broach it and risk alienating ourselves.

    • Always a tricky one. I personally do try to avoid bringing it up in general conversation because of the number of times friends or even relatives have actually got angry in response. Sometimes though I just can’t help myself. Is there a way to bring it up without annoying people, I wonder?

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