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View Diary: Climate Defenders: Come Out! (34 comments)

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  •  what is a barista? (5+ / 0-)

    a bar drinking partner? its a nice word. Oh yes ... i am outspoken as a climate hawk, so much so that I got told off this evening by my best friend, whose views are coloured in the usual way (family linked to a high energy consuming business). Well well I told her off recently for flying around in this continent. So this was payback. We know of each other what we think, and she thinks I´m romantic (for believeing we can do something about the climate) and I think she hides her fear of change - and her fear of having dreams defeated - behind cynicism ("the world is as it is and will go down that way").

    most people here - at least in the open - are not deniers. Most people have turned into ignorers, thats the better word. Talked to straight, few deny either that climate change is upon us, nor that it is one of the, if not the major issue of the time. But they proceed to ignore it anyways.

    This "studied" ignorance has risen essentially with the economic crisis and its a silent way of saying "my shirt is closer to me than my pants": I dont care about 2050, I care about 2013 and whether I´ll have money.

    so, people enter the first self-defeating loop of the climate crisis ... changes driven by climate change will ensure that people won´t have the money to feel they can afford considering the climate crisis ... and so it goes.

    •  I think the problem is (7+ / 0-)

      that marriage equality is a pretty clear, simple, and well defined thing to rally around. Plus it doesn't affect your personal life at all if gay people get married (unless you're a paranoid bigot which the majority of people aren't). Climate change is much more complex, there's not one landmark yay/nay case to rally around, and much of it is about rallying against things, like oil companies, consumption, cars, planes, etc. So that's much more difficult to do, plus you're kind of rallying against yourself. I think that's why there's a lot of feelgood greenwashing going on... people really want to do good and the right thing, but in case of climate change most of the medicine is somewhat bitter and the real solutions affect people's personal lifestyle, which generally speaking is a no starter and causes people to shut down.

      Ecology is the new Economy

      by citisven on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 04:56:54 PM PDT

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      •  I agree (4+ / 0-)

        That the solutions are more complicated, but the problem of declining planet kind of fits the bill for "pretty clear, simple, and well defined thing to rally around."  If we start there, things will open.

        •  yes and no (4+ / 0-)

          "Declining planet" may sound very clear, but how do you rally around it? Right now the best we can do is "No Keystone XL" but once that gets approved or not it's on to the next micro battle, and there are literally thousands of them, so it's difficult to get everyone on the same page. I don't have the exact numbers, but I think that doing something about climate change probably enjoys equal popularity to gay marriage. The difference is that we know exactly the one thing that needs to happen in the case of gay marriage, whereas in the case of climate change there's no clear and obvious solution to rally around.

          Anyway, I'm fully with you in trying to get people more interested and engaged, and I wish there were something as simple as a Supreme Court decision that could fix the problem. (not to say that good Supreme Court decisions are easy to come by)

          Ecology is the new Economy

          by citisven on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 05:24:05 PM PDT

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          •  I hear you and agree (3+ / 0-)

            What I am especially interested in is what can we DO, as opposed to what we need to STOP doing.  Not that I underestimate the importance of stopping Keystone XL or think that we shouldn't alter individual behavior, but we all know that isn't enough.

            People talk about an effort on the scale of the Manhattan Project, but I prefer to think of it in terms of the whole of World War II (without the millions of dead.)  The Manhattan Project was a scientific and financial undertaking.  The War as a whole was a society-wide effort which made it normal for everyone to skimp, to invest, to manage our resources carefully.  It required leadership, organization and volunteerism.  (And sure, government-mandated rationing helped...)

            We can pressure our leaders to get a massive investment program going.  That is something to do.

            Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.--  Abraham Lincoln

            I hope!

            •  I've heard the WWII analogy quite a lot (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              John Crapper, belinda ridgewood

              and I like it, but good to remember how much destruction had to happen before the country could be rallied. My worry is that by the time the destruction from climate change gets big enough for people to be scared into action, it may be too late because of all the feedback loops. Also, having a villain like Hitler gave this mission a very specific target to rally around. That said, I agree that that's what we need, a big international WWII type intervention.

              Who will be the climate Hitler?

              Ecology is the new Economy

              by citisven on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 06:20:08 PM PDT

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              •  Good points and good question (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                belinda ridgewood

                As a pretty typical American energy consumer, I suppose we could just use me.  But I'm not sure "When you ride alone, you ride with Alison" has the same punch...

                •  And to add to my own comment (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  belinda ridgewood

                  I agree on people not perceiving the threat.  But there has already been enormous damage from climate change-- massive droughts and storms pop to mind.  Not to exploit tragedies, but can we ask the survivors of Hurricane Sandy to speak out about the impact of climate change on their lives?  Or the midwest drought?

                  And, again, to refer to the golf groundskeeper earlier in this thread, a lot of people have evidence in their own lives.

            •  One of the most important things any individual (4+ / 0-)

              can do is eat less meat.  

              If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

              by John Crapper on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:27:23 PM PDT

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    •  Baristas (4+ / 0-)

      Serve you your coffee.  Or in my case, tea. :)

      I think it's such a smart point about climate denial versus climate ignoringness.  My instinct tells me that the ignorers might be easier to engage than the deniers if they have ideas of things to do to help.  Does that make sense from your experience?

      •  yes, some (4+ / 0-)

        in my experience, the ignorers have hidden shame about being selfish. They can´t bring themselves to ... either personally do something like lowering consumption, or expose themselves publically by calling for climate policy ... so they prefer to ignore the whole thing. Maybe a bit like the people who pass by beggars on the street with a rigid forward stare. (Which I have done plentiful myself, not that I am stranger to any of this!)

        The real deniers and real cynicists tend to be in-your-face. Usually with them, discussion quickly ends, and is replaced by cold  mutual rejection. (Well; they remain colleagues. But some colleagues are warm, others are cold).

        With the ignorers I find it no so difficult to be completely at ease, since I can be just like them on occasion, and I know that sometimes the right moment, or the right words have to come, to move people out ... they are movable.

        Now I can let the cat out of the bag that I am in Europe (as citisven knows). It would be mean not to say that along :)

        •  Yes. The Ignorers think we're just being scolds. (4+ / 0-)

          They insist upon having the wiggle room to think it's not as bad as the scientist's say, even if it means parroting Denier talking points that they know are false.

          They demand the right not to change any faster than anyone else. They insist nothing else is truly practical.

          Mindfulness is the first necessity of sanity and survival and the first casualty of Consumer Culture.

          by Words In Action on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 05:39:29 PM PDT

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          •  And hey, I hear their frustration (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            citisven, John Crapper

            That's why the movement has to be big enough so that when you remember to turn your lights off, you can look across the street or down the hall and know that your neighbor is doing the same because you've talked about it.  And you're not alone, and you feel proud to do your part...

    •  I like this analysis a lot. Very perceptive. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

      by John Crapper on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:46:02 PM PDT

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