The long term existential threat of unchecked climate change is very real to many of us. The difficulty in convincing the 99% to stop the 1% from heedless destruction in pursuit of wealth is a very old problem. Dorner has just written another chapter in the age old lesson on how to get the wrong kind of attention to a problem.
We are wired to respond when faced with threats. Storm clouds, fire and those proverbial wolves will trigger stress responses and action. We have built our abilities to predict, prevent, prepare and withstand many serious threats to amazing dimensions.
We also have the capacity to fear and attempt to forestall unseen threats: illness, distant enemies, omnipotent and omniscient deities. (I'm trying to convince myself the gods are losing ground.)
We still find ourselves in situations that need action before preventable harm is inevitable. When little is being done to develop a plan and implement it. The usual culprit is resistance to change. The unfamiliar that might be unsafe is more fearful than the danger you know. The pain of change must be perceived as less than what will happen if the path is not changed.
I am reminded of the Fellowship of the Ring leaving the mountain where Gandalf had disappeared fighting a balrog. Aragorn lamented that Gandalf had not heeded warnings that he would die there if he took the group on that path. It certainly seemed like he would never be seen again. Until he reappeared several chapters later. More powerful and wiser. The ostensibly futile mission to throw the One Ring into the Mountain of Doom continued and was successful.
A few years after 9/11 we had a horrible tragedy on the west side of Denver. A new flyover was being built to connect C470, I 70 and US 6. A guy with knowledge of bridge construction noticed something wrong as he drove under it one day and promptly called the construction company. The crew dispatched did not find the problem. Very shortly after this the section collapsed, killing a toddler and the parents - her mom was expecting. The couple had left NYC a year before because of how close they had come to tragedy on 9/11.
I came up with a revision of the Borg advice. Forewarning is Futile Funny how they go together in life. Forewarning and resistance. Ignorance, denial, skepticism, inconvenience and anxiety overcome accepting obscure danger which is real. It is brushed off as improbable. GW Bush blew off a lot of strong warnings about Bin Laden's threat. Then he created the bogus fears of terrorists attacking us again and Sadam's WMD threat.
The ultimate frustration is when the resistance to action is based on futility. America loves the 'can do' attitude we claim from our past success. Until our sense of collective self-efficacy withers. Better to keep walking into the danger and pray the gods will rescue us from our stupidity?
We need a critical mass of people who understand climate science enough to act. Who accept the threat as real, that fighting the battle will be inconvenient, could be dangerous, and will take sustained effort for an unknown period of time. Crazy ones, who don't care about the label. Those who have a vision that is more crucial than the existence surrounding them. Judgmental souls who consider the destruction of critical land areas, pollution of air and water, poisoning of humans and animals for any reason, immoral.
An Orange Army comes to mind. 670,000 members. 5% = 33,500 Every body adds to the mass.
“Too much sanity may be madness. The maddest of all is to see the world as it is, and not as it should be.” Don Quixote “Man of La Mancha” Michael Cervantes.
TODAY, Sunday, February 17th is a day to get your Quixote on and join a rally. There will be satellite rallies in 16 states. Is there one near you? Forward on Climate Solidarity Rallies, RSVP
For those who are too far or otherwise unable to go.
As always,contact the WH, your Congress critters, and anyone else to get off the fence.
I apologize this is running a little late. Also that I am abandoning it to go the Denver rally.