Friday :: Jan 10, 2020

Why is Acceptance of Climate Change So Difficult?


by paradox

A headline scan revealed Greta Thunberg recently had a birthday, eliciting a moment of pity of her from me, she’s recently learned a brutal human lesson of rejection, even after all the righteous thundering truth, protests and attention to climate change essentially nothing’s happened, it didn’t work.

It was the same lesson those Parkland massacre kids learned in Florida, they sat in the audience chamber of the Florida legislature two weeks after the event and wept as white old men easily rejected their horror and life to keep things just as they should be with assault rifles everywhere.

As Paul Krugman noted today, even after Australia goes up in flames in a total climate catastrophe incredibly the political leadership there insists with an infuriating obtuse stubbornness that climate change isn’t happening. Why is this denial so obdurate, and if we know the answers does that lead forward to a real solution?

The first part of the answer is plain human face, modern successful humans exploit the earth and labor, pollute with impunity and adamantly deny this is somehow wrong or not working. They’ve been lectured and scolded for generations and just laughed it off, but it turns out the clock ticked out on their watch and oh my god the environmentalist hippies were right all along.

Humans seriously don’t like to admit they were wrong, embarrassment, shame and loss of face are very powerful human factors in not accepting the truth.

Even much more powerful than face is the desperate need to maintain the status quo, we’ve set up the world this certain way, the winners are in control and to accept the massive change necessary to stop climate change would upend everything.

On planet Earth the days of burning gasoline have to be over by 2030. That means for the incredibly rich and powerful oil companies all of their stated wealth reserves are smashed down 65% (luckily for them there’s still a huge demand for oil in plastics and petrochemicals) and their way of life is over—no more pipelines, no more refineries, no more gas stations. Adapting to climate change so wipes out the normality and economic lifelines of so many powerful and rich industries they’ll fight with everything they have not to lose it.

So much needs to be smashed of the status quo in climate change that it can be very hard to imagine a different future. All of us for all of our lives just assumed we could be in Europe in 8 hours by hopping on a jet. Completely forget it, one might get to Europe in 20 hours on an electric blimp in 2035.

All automobiles have to be electric by 2030, but what if that can’t be done? What if they’re not affordable? Take the electric train. What if one hasn’t been built? Good luck, American, maybe the times will see you happily through, maybe they won’t.

Upending the status quo will naturally induce certain discomforts, but of course the real human driver here is fear, massive fear the incredibly hard-earned methods for making money or getting a job will simply vanish, leading to a brutally dismal short American life. That fear is completely justified, the United States has aptly demonstrated it doesn’t give a damn for the little people struggling to make it here.

As Krugman noted, this doesn’t really look good, the American Republicans are fanatically stupid and combative about climate change with vast media resources to back them up. Assuming we could get past the loss of face with Republicans in accepting need to change, we also need massive public investment to ease the economic fear of upending the status quo.

There aren’t any jobs at the refinery or gas station anymore? We’re building electric trains and wind farms everywhere, there’s jobs there. There’s jobs in building out a new smart grid, jobs in the electric car plants, employment wherever the United States government decides to spend and invest in the country.

Massive spending and investment, but where to get the money? Wipe out the sick tax cuts of the last 20 years, make sure corporate America pays its fair share and cut the Defense budget to $350 billion.

One doesn’t cut defense spending, it gets switched. For real jobs with good wages so the little people have a chance in an Earth with good sustainable biology.

That will require a unified Democratic Party American government with no filibuster in the Senate. First things first, right? Politically defeat the lying Russian traitor Republican climate change denialists. All of them, everywhere, with every effort possible. We might get a chance at a start in 2021 if we can accomplish that.

paradox :: 6:43 AM :: Comments (0) :: Digg It!