Guest Contributor: Maureen McCarthy
A great quote to support that both individual and systemic change are needed to combat Climate Change: “The problem requires sustained contributions from every corner of industry, every level of government, every academic institution, every foundation and philanthropist, and from all of us as individuals.” — L. Rafael Reif (Boston Globe)
Of course, we cannot detect a concerted effort for any of the above. And so we continue on our trajectory to destroy our planet and most everything on it. As individuals, recognizing that lack of action, we say, “Oh well, there’s nothing I can do.” Or are we really saying, “There’s nothing I’m WILLING to do?” While I watch my oblivious fellow homo sapiens ignore how they change the climate through thoughtless (or is it entitled?) actions, I wonder which it is? Will the answer tell us how can we educate against obliviousness or entitlement? Do you see your neighbors, family, friends, doing any of these things? How many more could you add and how long would this list be before we lift an entitled finger to change our behavior?
1. I idle my car (An idling engine can produce up to twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in motion). I’m too important to not experience creature comfort for even a minute. I’m like a King!
2. I leave lights on in and outside my house when I’m not there, wasting resources. I don’t care. What’s important is my perceived safety, I feel safe from vandals so long as I can see them coming. Motion-detected lighting is too much of a hassle to figure out! I don’t have time for that.
3. I blast my air conditioning so I can wear a sweater in summer! How cool am I?
4. My City kills a colony of prairie dogs (taking away an important link in the food chain for raptors) because they’re a nuisance. Too bad for those raptors: I’m too important to be bothered by any nuisances!
5. I complain that a raptor or other remnant of a wild thing that is left is threatening my small pet (because their prey, the prairie dog, was poisoned by my City) and I will NOT tolerate that! My pet and I are too important to be threatened by some “wild” thing!
6. I put poison on my lawn because I simply cannot tolerate a weed! i know it’s killing pollinators and birds, but that’s too bad because my eyes are too delicate to see an unsightly weed!
7. I use lots of water on my grass so it’s nice and green. It doesn’t matter that I live in a climate where water is scarce and grass would never grow. I want green grass and so I will have it! I’m like a Queen!
8. I have my Starbucks every day in a plastic non-recyclable plastic cup that I will only use for a few minutes and then throw “away.” Chances are it will end up with millions of others floating in the ocean forming giant garbage patches. But I’m too important to be bothered with reusing something that I might have to wash! OMG!
9. I drive my car everywhere for any reason, including going to the gym. Why would I walk or bike when it might be cold or hot? I might be inconvenienced for a moment and besides, I’m way too BUSY to lose precious minutes doing that!!
10. While driving too fast at night, I hit a deer/elk. Well there are so many of them now, anyway! (because we killed off all their predators, and there are only 8 BILLION of us!) It’s a good thing I wasn’t injured!
11. I watch apocalyptic skies and always unprecedented weather from my window in my comfortable house. Too bad for anything that is trying to live out there! I’m fine though and that’s all that matters!
12. I sometimes read really depressing stories about how the planet is in catastrophic climate collapse, gosh hopefully somebody will hurry up and fix that! Luckily I can read something else in the same feed about the latest Kardashian tweet! I feel fine now! And that’s the most important thing: how I feel!!
That’s right! there’s NOTHING you can do about Climate Changed!