Help me... so I can stop being confused about them
I believe it's real. I think that science backs up that it is happening.
I don't think there's a whole lot a single individual can do. I do think that it's going to require a great deal of political control to reign back the amount of greenhouse we put in the atmosphere. I do think that so called "green" programs for individuals aren't much more than feel good activities without much substance.
That said, I do think it is important to teach our kids about reduce, reuse, and recycle in terms of caring for our earth. I think that learning about these things at an individual level will hopefully foster the kind of mindset that will grow up into the future leaders with the values sett to tackle the bigger issues of climate.
What I don't get is denying climate change or calling it a hoax. I feel like I must be in my echo chamber because I simply can. not, understand, how someone arrived at such a conclusion.
Help me please.
(If your response is just disparaging this person, please, don't. I'm honestly asking for the other side to this and hoping someone here has it. Feel free to message me privately too.)
Runescryer last edited by
@silverfox I agree with you in regards to climate change. And I think the problem comes down to a general ignorance/illiteracy in regards to science. Most Americans aren't educated in the scientific method, much less understand the science itself. Couple that with a tendency to value 'both sides' of an argument. Finally, add in scientists willing to misrepresent their work or the statistics of an issue in order to collect a hefty paycheck.
Ganymede last edited by
What I don't get is denying climate change or calling it a hoax. I feel like I must be in my echo chamber because I simply can. not, understand, how someone arrived at such a conclusion.
From a simplistic view, some deniers hold their belief because it is getting a lot colder in the winter in certain places. How can there be "global warming" when it is getting colder?
From a less-simplistic view, prehistory includes an ice age. That did not come about due to humanity's industrialization. So climate change occurs, regardless. How can we know if what we're doing is a cause if climate changes on its own due to factors outside of human control?
From an even-less-simplistic view, one cannot scientifically test the theory of climate change and pin it to a handful of factors. How a climate works and maintains itself is a complex matter. It could be that humans are affecting it with increased carbon emissions; it could be that humans are affecting it with fracking; it could be that humans are affecting it by cutting down trees; but all of these things have already happened and cannot be feasibly reversed. How do we know that the measures we intend to implement will not in fact exacerbate the problems we have?
Ghost last edited by Ghost
@silverfox There are plenty of people - myself included - who feel as if by some bizarre circumstance we were born into the wrong reality. How can it be so clear and reasonable for some people, yet a large number of opponents wield childish responses or miraculous theories as a response? At best on most days I feel so disconnected from what may be a large number of the dissenting public as if they're either so stupid that I cannot relate, or perhaps if I'm just some higher level thinker.
I call it "flat earth thinking"; this modern fad that if something is one duodecillionth possible that it cannot be ruled out as a logical probable. In the last 10 to 15 years the obsession with 9/11 theories, Kenyan infiltration Islamic presidents, the rise of "Ancient Aliens" as a hit show, and now current theories that Jan6th was an attack on the insurrectionists as a means to rounding them up. It's just getting worse. Many people are seemingly willing to cling on what they think is some exciting theory that they were so genius to believe in (They call me crazy but I'll get the last laugh when it is proven!) that they're willing to drive off of a cliff to avoid publicly coming to the realization that they were wrong.
So they dig deeper and entrench.
I'd like to be able to offer you hope, but here is how I see it.
- The American response to Covid, where people are coughing into each others' faces, referring to the unvaccinated as marginalized, claim that 1% of the world's population isn't much of a loss, and that they'd rather get covid than get vaccinated....is your barometer for how likely people are to band together to push for a cleaner planet.
If people are unwilling to wear a mask to keep innocent people from getting covid as a matter of political affiliation...you're not likely to see everyone hugging each other and working together until it's too late. And by this I mean gray skies, people dying of CO2 poisoning simply for going outside, etc.
- The only way climate change can be implemented is for governments to force the changes on their people. The level of industrial and economic shifting required to make an impact means a high level of authority and money.
So...the way I see it is that in a world filled with bouncing monkeys in cages shrieking about AOC and how covid is some Chinese plot to kill off the USA's population enough to force Communism on America? Plant a few trees and recycle all you want, but you won't make a dent. You'll just be keeping your corner clean while the rest of the ship gets dirty and sinks.
I find it likely that the more the rest of the planet commits to climate change that economic sanctions will be placed against nations who refuse to "go green" for the better of the planet. It's not impossible that in a number of years greenhouse sanctions could be treated similarly to UN nuclear sanctions.
Carma last edited by
Each individual person's participation in reducing aspects of their lives that contribute to climate change are negligible compared to the harm that large corporations are doing to our planet. Not just greenhouse gases and air pollutants, but also microplastics in our drinking water, teflon buildups getting permanently embedded in our bodies, the Gulf of Mexico being forever damaged by an oil leak that wasn't handled immediately in attempts to salvage as much profit from it, entire cities having cancer-inducing drinking water, and so much more.
We would do more for the health of the planet by dismantling one of GE, Facebook, Amazon, Tesla, Google, or Coca-Cola than we would ever accomplish by recycling. The reason climate change denial is a thing is because it's profitable. It's more profitable than someone ignorant to the scheme could begin to conceive. Spreading lies and misinformation makes billionaires even richer.
It pays so well to be evil that once the earth reaches temperature levels that can't sustain crops, leading to mass starvation on earth, the wealthy elite can fly off to terraform Mars with their own slave colonies. I believe Elon Musk once had to backpedal because he accidentally revealed too much about how viable that plan is to come to fruition. It's easy to evade government oversight where there isn't a government.
That's not to say that we shouldn't recycle. We should. But it's not enough to save us.
There are a few fundamental 'legs' to climate change denalism - not every one applies to every denialist, and many have more than one in different proportions.
Religion. I remember reading an article of the Watchtower (the Jehovah's Witness magazine) where they had a surprisingly well-researched article on climate change...but ended it with several paragraphs where they reminded their audience that God, essentially, was not going to let humanity ruin the world, and that ultimately, God would intervene before things got too dangerous. While that was the most explicit outline of that philosophy I've seen written, here in the Bible Belt I've heard similar sentiments reiterated. Essentially, God is the greatest power, and nothing humanity could do could ruin His Creation; it was given to humanity to use, and He will not allow us to spoil it before the End Days, where everything will be cleared up and the righteous will rule a pristine paradise. A fair number of mega-church and Evangelical clergy are also pushing this sort of rhetoric hard, and if people have to choose between the priest they trust and the scientific community they don't, they're going to choose their priest.
Poor risk/science knowledge. This isn't really anyone's 'fault', but humanity as a whole is bad at risk assessment, particularly long-term risk assessment. As long as climate change's effects are measured in decades between inciting incident and result, a large number of people are going to struggle to trust the link between A and B. It didn't help that the original popularized term for anthropogenic climate change was "global warming", which put a picture in people's mind that did not match the effects they were observing - they don't understand how 'global warming' leads to stronger storms and more severe winters, and so there's plenty of space for bad actors to inject doubt and mistrust.
Bad actors. Global climate change denialism is driven in large part by people who feel they have a vested (often financial) interest in killing any attempt to make the widespread, systemic changes which would be necessary to combat it. Combatting climate change means that some companies are going to go out of business, and many companies are going to have to change very profitable procedures (where the costs are externalized to everyone else) to less profitable procedures where they will have to put those costs on their own balance sheets. So, they lie. They lie very loudly, and very well, and they invest immense amounts of money into making sure those lies are placed in every friendly ear they can find. When you hear a lie repeated over and over again, it becomes easy to believe.
Cluster irrationality. Climate change denalism is often found in the vicinity of and pedaled with other irrational beliefs, and becomes part of an ongoing framework of irrational beliefs. For example, globalist conspiracies. A good portion of the public resistance to increased mass transit and light rail in some states came from people who claimed to believe that the promotion of mass transit was part of a conspiracy by the UN to erode America's sovereignty. This was spoken by actual, elected politicians who had the ability to veto those projects, and did. Now, while a fair amount of that is just cover for racism and classism (increased mass transit allows increased movement of disadvantaged populations and "those people" might end up in suburban neighborhoods), some of it is rooted in a genuine belief that there is a conspiracy to try and create a One World Government that will take everyone's freedom and so on and so forth. So any sort of collective action gets tarred with that brush.
Fear and being overwhelmed. Global climate change is scary, because there isn't actually a lot an individual can do about it. My recycling will not actually address the problem. It seems too big, too impossible - anytime you tell someone that here's this overwhelming horrible thing that they can do nothing about, there's an urge for the brain to just get overwhelmed and go, "Nu-uh." That CAN'T be possible.
Peer pressure. People tend to believe what their social network believes. When you have five people who you trust and like telling you that climate change is nonsense, or ghosts are real, or homeopathy works, whatever - it becomes a lot easier to internalize that belief. And once you've internalized a belief, the more people argue with you about it, the more likely you are to cling to it. Especially when everyone you know believes the same thing, and there might even be social consequences for changing your mind.
@silverfox Human beings are very, very good at spotting patterns. It's what kept us alive for thousands of years; but it's been backfiring for the last century or so when its use case diminished and it became a drawback.
Most people live in some kind of social echoing chamber. Do you spot people dying from Covid-19 all around you? No? Well then Covid-19 doesn't exist. Nevermind that you also (probably) don't spot people dying from car accidents by drunk drivers, prostate cancer, heart disease, etc. It's hard for human beings to keep that in mind when our senses tell us otherwise.
The same thing applies to the climate. Is the weather very bad around you right now? No? Well there's no problem with the climate.
What makes this even worse are three factors.
The fact politicians have no reason to address it. There is a high financial cost but not a tangible payoff they can directly attribute to their efforts, and any positive effects will probably not register for several years anyway.
Corporations fudge the issue intentionally since they are by far the greatest contributors to pollution than anyone else on this planet. Misinformation is a very powerful tool, and it's easy to spread when there are big time money interests involved.
This is also a big one. Most people don't realize what effect even the rise of global average temperatures by even half a degree Celsius can have. Spoiler alert: it's absolutely massive. "An additional half a degree of warming from 1.5° C to 2 °C may cause 10 million more people to be at risk from sea level rise, several hundred million more people to be susceptible to poverty, and a 50-percent increase in the population exposed to water stress." But people don't realize it - they just think of having to adjust their thermostat. That's the very least of their concerns.
I hope that helps.
So there's a very good podcast episode that touches on a LOT of this: You're Wrong About - Acid Rain
The TL;DR though, is: climate change deniers love talking about acid rain. Because we used to love talking about acid rain. And then all of a sudden we just stopped talking about acid rain.
Which is partially true. The takeaway of the episode is -- yeah, it was a problem (probably, there is some question there based on fish dieoffs in lakes and the effects of slash and burn forestry just feeding nutrients and bases into otherwise already acidic, dead lakes...)
And we solved that problem by passing legislation. And, just like today, in the run-up to that, people were all 'oh this is too big we cannot afford it this will bankrupt the world blah blah blah'
And Congress was like 'tough here are your new laws requiring like, sulfur scrubbers in smoke stacks'
And the rest of the world was like 'Ok cool they will be in tomorrow'.
It also talks about the relative effectiveness of stuff like cap and trade deals, etc.
But anyway, give that a listen. It's got a lot of stuff in there for you.
It was required reading in my Fall 2008 Politics of Media course. It should be required reading for everyone honestly. It answers your questions, is written in very easy to read English, and it's not all that long. Seriously, go buy a copy for about $14. It doesn't touch on Climate Change directly, but it does talk about the psychology and sociology behind people living in alternative realities in their head.
@silverfox I can only speak from an American viewpoint. I've probably said all this before.
In America, whether or not any given American is actually religious, we have been raised to believe ignorance is the same thing as innocence and knowledge is the same thing as sin (thanks, fundies), because if you know something is wrong, then to be a good person, you have to do something to correct the wrong. You have to exert effort which may not pay off, and take a risk for which you may be actively punished by people more powerful than you, which you'd think we'd be into because of how much we love to be oppressed martyrs, but we prefer no-stakes martyrdom where the way we're oppressed is Starbucks not writing "everyone who doesn't believe in Jesus is wrong" on their coffee cups.
A good person would sacrifice their comfort and safety to make sure the planet remains livable beyond this generation... or a good person would totally have done that if they knew the planet was going to be unlivable but for all the people who lied to them about climate change not being real. You can't blame me for not doing the right thing if I was misled by bad actors! That's not my fault! I can't be held responsible! I was only guilty because of how innocent I was, Lord!
People (especially Americans) like to pretend they are immune to corporate and large $$$ interests and investments in misinformation and marketing campaign, but they're not. There's even recent stuff coming to light that the energy corps knew and their own researchers/scientists said that they needed to start moving towards cleaner more sustainable production to combat environmental and climate concerns--in the 1970s, and it would be better even for those companies in the long term to do that. The 1970s. Instead they buried that and decided to run an information campaign about how it was too expensive to shift, there was no need, ect.
So people have been bombarded with campaigns (hidden and outright, subtle and very not, ect) and lots of money invested to keep the status quo for over 50 years now.
It should not be surprising, with 50 years and mind blowing amounts of corporate misinformation investment, that people are far more likely to go with what they "believe" (because it's been shaping them like almost their whole lives) vs. questioning it.
Whether we like it or not, that shit is powerful. You don't have to be dumb to fall for it. And honestly, yes...investing in new stuff and changing things is scary for a great many if not all people, it's just that this particular shift is scarier for some than others.
HorrorHound last edited by
I won't post some large thing, but, how can you 'do your part'?
You're doing it. By giving youngbloods the tools to make the decisions, by showing them the math. By motivating the hustlers you find in your classes with that hustler eye, and showing them the amount of money they can make retrofitting old systems to be more efficient -- how they can spend $115k on a $215k home, then sell it for $550k and repeat the process to make joyous profit.
By utilizing your lawn as a garden, but also by again, teaching through exercise that the horizontal plane is limited -- and that the vertical plane is better for farming.
The Great Lakes Region specifically needs this lesson. But, anyways, don't dive too deep into it. Provide physical examples, teach them, repeat.
BetterNow last edited by
I don't think anyone has mentioned the huge (and I mean beyond most of our scope of understanding) amounts of corporate money that go into paying politicians and news network talking heads to back bad science that makes it sound like there can be doubt about climate change, all to make sure they can keep the fossil fuel industry at the top of everything.