The writer James Baldwin once said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” As a society, it is time we face climate change head-on, but unfortunately, there are still many who deny climate change or would rather sweep the issue under the rug. Whether out of sincere disbelief, fear, or denial, it can be frustrating to interact with those who refuse to see the severity of climate change and the threat it poses to our world.
This week, we share with you 12 common excuses for climate inaction and how you can address them with rationality, rather than rage. Here is a glimpse of the first five:
- Isn’t it alarmist to talk about the extinction of the human race? Yes, it is concerning that we have already emitted enough carbon to cause 1.1 degrees Celsius of warming, but addressing the potential suffering of billions of people is not alarmist, it’s empathetic and realistic.
- Isn’t it too late to prevent catastrophe? Yes, much damage has already been done, but each fraction of a degree of warming exacerbates the issue and we owe it to future generations to soften the blow of climate change and prevent further disaster.
- How do we face something so depressing? It is depressing, but it is also exciting to have the potential to save our civilization. We are mobilizing as a planet against a critical danger and we have the potential to act together with inspiring strength and innovation.
- Won’t it be impossible to get off fossil fuels? Yes, the fossil fuel industry is powerful, but more than half the UK now runs off renewable power and the efficiency and affordability of renewables is growing by the day. Need more evidence? Check out any number of Optimist Daily articles on renewable energy such as this one about Google’s renewables acquisition or this UN report about the bright future of green energy.
- How do I make a difference as one person in a world of 7 billion? As we said already, every little bit makes a difference, and small daily decisions in defense of the environment can empower you to feel like a capable warrior in the fight against climate change.