Climate Change Interview 4: Basketball Referee - Minneapolis, MN

Updated: Feb 20

Live Interview

John Kihslinger Jr - Gen X - Basketball Referee and Fleet Supervisor for a food service in a suburb of Minneapolis




1. What are your thoughts when you hear that the climate is warming, the environment is being destroyed and that humans are the cause?


"You know when I look at it, it seems that the weather has shifted about a month. I remember March being a lot warmer. I guess I remember the spring times, March, April being a lot warmer. Now it seems like it stays warmer a lot later in the year. That’s what I see.

I never given that much thought to it. Maybe I just haven’t thought enough about whether humans are the cause of it. But for some reason the weather patterns keep coming to my mind. Maybe it’s me getting older I see things differently."


"As for the environmental degradation thing, maybe its happening. I never really have delved into that too deeply or too hard. Obviously there is an awareness out there but I have kind of stayed in my bubble on that. For whatever reason that’s just where I come from."


2. In your mind what are the forces that drive climate change and environmental degradation?


"I guess that’s the million dollar question right? I really don’t know. That’s as honest as I can be. I really don’t know. It’s almost above my pay grade. There’s a lot of people out there a lot smarter than me. There are a lot of scientists out there and they are not dumb human beings and I listen to some of that but I just haven’t jumped into it deep enough to really know what the science is. I really haven’t tried to look at why the climate is shifting."


3. Has your life been affected in any way? If so, how?


"No. No. Not really. You know when people start talking about their grandchildren and stuff like that I guess you start thinking about it. There is this other side.... I guess you would call it the arrogance of the right thing to not even think that its possible, you know. To me, not to even keep an open mind is…. Well it’s kind of the way things are going on both sides."


"I guess it hasn’t really affected me you know. Maybe job wise because I’m out a lot and I drive a lot but if it shifted (warmer in fall and colder in spring) then it kind of even itself out that way, at least for our driving anyway. No, I haven’t noticed that it really affects me."


4. In your opinion, what needs to be done?


"I don’t have a strong opinion about that, I really don’t. Sometimes I wish I did but I don’t. I’m probably not the right guy to talk to about that. It’s probably that way with a lot of things in life. I stay to myself. Something about this just hasn’t grabbed me. I’m a pretty middle of the road guy when it comes to a lot of things in life whether its politics or anything else. I’ve learned that about myself as I get older. Not everyone on any side has it all figured out. I’ve always been kind of intrigued or tried to keep an open mind and watched and looked at things. I do what I can do to help all of this but is it a passion of mine – no."


5. Do you consider yourself part of the problem or part of the solution?


"I’m probably both. You have to part of the solution if you think there is a big problem, right? I probably haven’t looked at it enough. I try to do what I can on my side."


"I guess I haven’t done anything like take cloth bags to the grocery store or anything else like that. I do recycle and that’s about it. I haven’t really gone down that road."


6. What do you think the long term outcome of climate change and environmental degradation will be?


"I think we will always be OK. Maybe the way I feel has something to do with my faith. I think that maybe there is a higher power at work here too. As far as where the climate thing and the environment goes in 50 years I really don’t know. I’m probably middle of the road on the whole thing, I really am."


"In some ways I might not be doing my “do-diligence” on this and maybe its because I won't

have grandchildren of my own."

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