We have all heard variations on these responses to the notion of global warming.
(If it’s true…) It’s not MY fault.
We didn’t ask to be born into this modern world. While we’re just trying to live our lives we’re told that with every breath we take (much less every mile we drive) we are causing a disaster.
(If it’s true…) It’s not JUST my fault.
Hey, we can’t be the only guilty parties. All human beings who have preceded us and all those humans who currently live other lives elsewhere are also agents of destruction. These ancestral and geographical “others”, do they dilute our own sense of agency (and urgency)? Hey, my daddy did it and look at what the Chinese are doing! These indicted co-conspirators do not lessen our own culpability but they do make the problem seem more intractable and the solution more complex; more time and resource consuming than we are able think about.
(If it’s true…) It’s hard to believe. Climate change is not affecting me. I don’t feel like a victim of climate change, I don’t know any victims of climate change now and I won’t be here to know any future victims (if there are any). Some people (scientists) are merely telling us what they think will happen. These scientists are mercurial to say the least. Fifty years ago, the atom was the smallest particle. Maybe some property of the Earth’s systems we don’t yet fully understand will kick in and mitigate the situation. If we can’t really perceive any change, what do we (you and I living in this time and place) gain by perseverating over the future and denying ourselves the creature comforts. I should change my lifestyle so a few rich assholes don’t lose their beach front property?
We don’t really feel the nasty point of the climate knife sawing away at us. The disaster is still largely imagined. Weather is, after all, variable. Are we really the frogs in the pot oblivious to the incremental rise in temperature?