I don’t know about you, but I’m heartily sick of all this whining about climate change. Whining from those who insist we have to stop global warming but who (mostly) aren’t prepared to put their money where their whingeing mouths are. Whining from the apocalyptic doom mongers who seem to delight in end-of-the-world hyperbole (I guess if you don’t belief in a religious version of the apocalypse this is the next best thing). Whining from those who say it’s the defining challenge of our time and that they’d love to do something about it but they’ve got to put the economy first. Whining about the science and the other whiners listed above from so-called climate skeptics. People in this last category variously insist that climate change isn’t real, that it is real but we aren’t causing it, that we are causing it but it isn’t as bad as people say, or that it is bad but we’ll adapt – whatever is left after their last position has become untenable. Whining, whining, whining.
Here’s the thing. If we wanted to stop global warming we could. But we don’t, or at least we don’t want to badly enough. The people of the world have decided that, even though climate change might mess them up, they’re going to go for it anyway. They’ve decided (you’ve decided) that it’s just not worth giving up all that consumption to save the world as they (you) know it. How many of you have really changed your lifestyles beyond a bit of token recycling and a few low-energy light bulbs? How many of your politicians have stuck to their green promises when someone waggles a chart showing limp economic growth in their stupid faces? How many of you have contacted your representatives to demand action? Not many? Thought so. You see, you’re prepared to risk a bit (or a lot) of climate change. You want it, yes you do. You might say you’re worried about climate change but feel helpless to do anything about it, but that’s self-deluding, lily livered crap of an excuse.
Some of you bleeding hearts might argue that people in the rich world might be too stupid, mean and lazy to do anything about climate change, but it’s the poor in the developing world who’ll pay the price. Give me a break. As soon as the poor get rich (or at least richer), they behave like everyone else. Look at China. All those people who have been lifted out of poverty have gone apeshit for consumerism, and in doing so have helped China become the world’s biggest polluter. The bottom line is that we’re all the same when it comes to trading our personal well-being for a bit of vague future environmental security – most of us won’t do it.
And why should we make that trade? Life’s too short to live in a bubble of risk aversion, and risk makes life exciting. Risk and its consequences also drive innovation – progress, if you like. Look at all the technology that’s come from war. We’re a disruptive, risk-loving species, and that’s what has driven our development. That’s what’s got us where we are today, and who’d want to live in the world as it was before today, except maybe a few smelly hippies?
So, the message of this blog is, stop whining, stop worrying, and stop pretending. Be honest with yourself. If you’re not prepared to ‘do your bit’ as the environmentalists say (and let’s face it, you’re not), then embrace the consequences. Sure there might be a load of chaos and disruption as we adapt to a world changed radically by global warming, but think of the innovation that will drive. We’ve built a world based on the creative destruction of capitalism (I would say disaster capitalism but that might be seen as a tautology). I for one can’t think of a better environment for it to thrive in than one of global climate disruption – plenty of chaos to drive innovation but (probably) not enough to wipe out civilization or the human race. Sure, it’s a gamble, but capitalism is about having the courage to take chances with your (or somebody else’s) assets, right?
And let’s not kid ourselves that we can have a ‘stable’ climate anyway. Even without manmade global warming we’d encounter a climate crisis sooner or later – just look at a few studies of past climate changes and you’ll see what I mean. Some of the changes that the Earth’s climate has gone through before would give global warming a run for its oil money and then some. And if not a climate crisis it will be some other crisis (global pandemic, meteor strike, galactic neighborhood gamma ray burst, super weapons, nanocaust, etc), so who are we kidding.
So, embrace the chaos of climate change – and of change in general – you know you want to. You might even make some money out of it. And if you don’t, someone else will, and you can buy their stuff, as long as you’re still alive and have an income.