You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth! -Climate change denial, and how to overcome it
In this post, we’re gonna focus on overcoming climate change denial. This means we’re gonna talk about why addressing climate change feel overwhelming, and what you can do about it.
Now we’ve established I’m a +30 cinephile, let’s dig deeper into the truth about climate change, and why we would rather not know.
Before you read further, ask yourself this: Are you willing to give this post a fair change?
When the content gets hard to deal with, are you gonna close the tab and go back to puppies and facebook, or are you gonna keep reading?
You might as well be honest with yourself because I’m going to be honest with you. More than that, I’m going to shed light on that little voice inside us all, that starts crying when it all gets too real and too overwhelming. The voice that says ‘It can’t be this bad. I’m sure they’ve got it wrong. I’ll go back to reddit now, and look at people who dress like Disney characters’.
If you’re still here you’re already further than most
The truth is we have a dire situation on our hands. Newest data suggests, that we have now surpassed the safe level of atmospheric CO2, averaging at 397.7 ppm in 2014, with a peak 404 ppm in the spring of 2014. The agreed safe level is 400 ppm.
If no drastic measures are taken NOW, we are facing a temperature increase of about 4.5 Degrees Celsius.
This will make many nations look like Water World by the year 2100.
It will also likely result in a big decrease in fish population in the oceans. In combination with our current overfishing, this might result in the death of the ocean. Yes death, as in no more fish in the sea, and hence no more sushi for your chopsticks.
If the world does not act in regards to climate change, we are facing droughts, famines, the greatest migration problem ever seen, deforestation, desertification. All in all, a world that sucks.
Why isn’t anybody acting?
You already knew that the world is in a bad state. None of the above was news to you, right? So, is there nothing left to do? Should we just give up? No, there are plenty of ways to act.
If we’ve been hearing these warnings for many years now, why are we still on collision-course?
Why are there still heads of state skeptical of climate change? Why don’t the majority of Americans worry about climate change? And why on earth is the government of my home nation systematically cutting and worsening our climate initiatives?
A part of the problem is, we’ve created this big a complex world, but our hardware, our brain, is still set on ‘monkey’.
The psychical structure and functions of our brains haven’t changed for thousands of years.
As an unfortunate consequence of this, we relate to the world around us as if we still only had to attend to food, shelter, and coitus.
Thinking about what our actions today will bring us 50 years down the road, is just not a natural process for us. Which means..:
We have to work for it.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of our brains system 1 and 2. Or the reptile- and the cognitive parts of our brain. In short, we have a lazy brain that wants to conserve energy. It does this, by not working too hard, and converting as many actions as it can, into habits we don’t need to think about – like walking.
You’re pretty skilled at walking. You don’t need to think about that too much. The same with driving a car, brushing your teeth, and talking with your mother-in-law.
All these things we do out of habit. They required a lot of energy and focus from us the first times we did them, and then, with practice and repetition, they become mindless habits.
You gotta work (that lazy brain), bitch
Climate change is not something we can do on autopilot. Grasping the full scope, and furthermore, accepting that we haven’t gained knowledge of the full scope yet, is a job for the cognitive brain. We have to invest energy. This is why it feels so overwhelming.
“What? There’s more? I don’t think I can take it!”
Yes, there is hard work ahead.
The world’s ecosystems are in a dire state. 2015 has so far had the biggest hurricane ever recorded, the worst droughts ever recorded, and the worst forest fires ever recorded. 50% of the cases of extreme weather of 2014 were attributed to climate change.
You wouldn’t be reading this post if you didn’t already know that something is wrong, and you want it to stop being wrong. It not impossible, but it will require work.
Are you still reading? Well done, not only are you among the top percentage of people determined not to stick their head in the sand, and you also building your skill of using your cognitive brain with more ease.
Face the state of your life with determination. You can’t change your situation before you accept it.
What was that thing about it-security?
I fall into the same trap of a lazy brain. I have some really smart people in my network, who know a lot about IT- and data security. They tell me about IT-dangers, and what to do about it.
Every time I feel I have almost gotten up to speed and have a basic level of security, a new threat comes along and I have to learn everything all over again.
Then I think to myself: ‘Oh come on!! Just tell me what to do, already!!
I just want to know, what program I need to install in order to make sure I’m ok in terms of IT security.
But as anyone with the faintest knowledge about IT knows, it’s so much more complex than that.
Just like fighting climate change and working for environmental preservation, is so much more than turning the water off, or buying a Prius.
If you’re not an environmentalist, it’s an immensely complex situation, and the more you learn about it, the more complex it gets. Just like I find IT security a much bigger subject the more I learn about it.
Making the complex manageable
Finally gaining this insight was a blessing and a curse. It became obvious that my post needed to be centered on making sense of the immense, and turning the mass of numbers and facts into something you could actually do.
This is also the reason for my environmental planner‘s ABCs. Which takes us full circle back to what you can do when facing the truth about climate change. I will cover this in the next blog post.
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