I saw this post on a friend’s facebook wall and, with his permission, am posting it here… Some good arguments:
The problem with selling climate change is that the world typically divides into two camps: those who care about ‘the environment’, by which they mean non-human organisms, on aesthetic or moral grounds, or more often on an unclear mix of the two, and those who don’t.
The former group, let’s call them Camp 1, champion the eating of lentils and the wearing of hair shirts because they wish to preserve the non-human parts of Nature at the cost of convenience to ourselves. The latter group, Camp 2, don’t share those same aesthetic/moral values and therefore live by their OWN codes of morals and aesthetics, which does not involve any particular consideration for non-human organisms.
Now we discover that the climate of the entire planet is rather unstable, partly or mostly due to our own (largely unwitting) actions. In fact our best guesses, based on the evidence we can gather, suggest that huge changes may be imminent which will wreak major destruction on (a) non-human organisms (so-called “Nature”) and (b) our own species.
Camp 1, the hair-shirters, respond to this with calls for less consumption, more protection of ‘Nature’, and spiritual improvement. In short, they continue to put out the same message. And of course this message does not reach Camp 2, because they still do not share the same aesthetic and moral values.
But tragically Camp 2 don’t realise that in fact this is not a hair-shirt, Nature-aesthetic issue AT ALL! It just seems to be, coincidentally, because some of the same policies (reducing our impact on the environment) are involved. But actually climate change is definitely a Camp 2 issue: massive destruction on a global scale is all just a part of Nature’s own feedback loops, and undoubtedly in millenia to come other forms of life will come to prosper. No, the reason we should act to stop climate change is because it is going to hurt US!
The problem is that most activists are Camp 1 type people who don’t even really understand Camp 2 people. It is pretty hard to understand people who don’t share your aesthetics and morals (Islamist jihadists, pedophiles, etc). So they continue to suggest we ‘protect Gaea’. Camp 2 people continue to ignore them and also don’t act on climate change.
I suggest that any and all people interested in saving what we still can of the planet immediately STOP presenting it as an environmental, ecological, green issue, and instead present it as a straightforward issue of SAVING OUR OWN NECKS for two reasons: number one because this is the most effective way to present the issue to Camp 2 types, and number two because, much as it might seem unpalatable, it’s true.