Impotence?

It can feel like shouting into the void, talking tweeting/retweeting/sharing/texting about climate/climate-change, biodiversity loss, overfishing, ocean acidification+warming, desertification – all the impacts of the disruption of natural cycles.

Oftentimes there is simply no response. We’re all exhausted from learning even more ways things are failing. Maybe the only response is a forward, retweet, or similar. Thank you for that micro-dose of dopamine.

But –

Sometimes it’s the guy who disagrees and wants to tell you how he heard all the coral came back and we really have a global cooling problem. Just stop. Probably not worth the sound waves of conversation.

Sometimes it’s the one who wants to tell you these are all 100% natural cycles and not “mans doing“. Why is this a reasonable argument? If there’s a grenade going off in the room I’m in, and I have time to run – do I care who pulled the pin?

Sometimes it’s the one where “not all scientists agree“, for which one can find a variety of differing opinions, and yet in general, it does seem there are fewer and fewer exceptions. Perhaps an analogy can help us here. Let’s say you are driving your family across the country in your smoky ancient Volvo on the way to Wally World and come across a large group of people waving you down. Most of them (say, 97) tell you that a local militia planted a minefield down that way – you absolutely should take another road or you and your kids are probably going to die. However 3 of them say they’ve been down that road and there’s no mines. They can feel it in their gut! They know it! They try to convince you all these crazy people are just trying to trick you because…well they’ve no idea why, because there’s no real incentive. To whom do you listen? After all, it will be an inconvenience to believe those 97 adamant folks and find another route.

Sometimes it’s the one where “other countries are doing it too”. China (or India or…) put out XX tons of CO2 a year! I thought we learned in grade school (and maybe even church?) that two wrongs don’t make a right?

Blame is the Game

And how about the one who just shrugs and says if humans are committed to ending humanity so be it? We’ll get what’s coming to us…nature will take care of itself. Apathy is just another form of fear. Fear of feeling the pain and sadness of loss. Who wouldn’t want to tune out being a part of species extinction across the globe? Pretending you are somehow elevated above this because of your long-view is rationalized denial.

Lastly, most dangerously, we have those who simply agree vehemently that all we are seeing, fire, flood, wind is perhaps real, and perhaps a problem. These are our echo chamber, and we should take great comfort that there seem to be many. Comfort, but not complacence. We must break out of the echo chamber, and keep broadcasting the message that status quo is death. Change in a community, a society, a government, doesn’t come by chatting with only those who agree.

This message cannot just be online. It’s a simple way to be loud – to those with whom you are connected, and likely then, to those generally which think like you.

As uncomfortable as it sounds, real human connection and conversation are how we take our power back.

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