Since my teens, I thought the discussion on climate change – and other topics such as abortion – was misguided.
We know cheap fossil fuel will run out, and we know the use of it causes a wide range of problems (pollution of land, air and water, health problems, centralized production, wars etc.), so it only makes sense to prioritize phasing it out as soon as possible, and shift into use of renewable energy. This shift will also revitalize our economy, bring about new scientific and technological discoveries, and be a boon for many smaller technology companies. It also has the potential to diversify and localize our production of energy, making us more resilient and supporting local economies. (A more diverse production of energy makes us more resilient since we are less reliant on one type of energy from a few centralized and sometimes distant sources, and local production of energy makes us more locally self-reliant and may support local businesses and economies.) It has benefits all around. Whether or not burning fossil fuel contributes to climate change is irrelevant in this context. It’s only a distraction, and it’s used quite intentionally as a distraction by some in the oil business.
So here is a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on one of these people (intentionally or not) side-tracking the debate in this way.
Situation: My uncle denying human-contributed climate change. (He is a professor in botany.)
1. I am angry at my uncle because he denies (a) climate change and (b) any human contribution to climate change.
2. My uncle should get the bigger picture, see it’s a necessary and desirable change anyway.
3. I want my uncle to open up, be more receptive, find a more balanced view, take a more realistic approach.
4. I need my uncle to be more receptive, clear, see the big picture, take the long view, see what’s best for all of us in the long run/big picture.
5. My uncle is confused, reactive, hurt, closed minded, upset.
6. I don’t ever want to experience my uncle getting upset over climate change again.