I would recommend, even though these awful events are occurring, to read books that encourage positive action (Enlightenment Now) and books that encourage understanding of other people and their viewpoints, even if you find them to be unacceptably obtuse at times: there are many layers of abstraction that people live on, and sometimes you are just at a different one.
Advocate against pollution, and the causes that give rise to it. It will help to bring change, it isn't hopeless.
If you didn't read it, that's the toughest part.
The global climate strike is this Friday (20th): https://globalclimatestrike.net/
You can even join digitally too: https://digital.globalclimatestrike.net/
denial: people think this ones about denying its existence but we're really so far past that. most of the denial right now is over the timeline and the budget. the "science" says FUCKING YESTERDAY and WHATEVER IT COSTS but most people don't want to swallow that yet
anger: the takes that focus on "these top 10 companies" or "these top 100 oil execs" or boomers or suburbs or cheeseburgers, or capitalism
bargaining: you can tell these takes from phrases like "what if we just" and "I don't understand why we don't". they're mostly nonsense from people with zero understanding of engineering or the grid, or nonsense from people with just enough understanding of the grid to be dangerous and get tunnel-vision fixated on nuclear. self driving thorium drones, etc.
depression: nothing we can do, its too late, no point in trying, hating anyone who does try, a thousand excuses and zero action
acceptance: i won't say what I think goes here since if you haven't gotten through all the above steps you won't agree
That model is really outdated, and was never meant to be the linear model it is so often presented as. I imagine you were speaking lightly, but it's important to call this out.
My wife is a grief counselor, and that is the clearest thing I've learned from her, and it's the single most important thing to share when people are dealing with grief. The prolonged use of this model in society and popular culture leads people to believe that we're supposed to progress through grief, and at some point "get over it". But grief is cyclical, and it's different for everyone.
Environmental grief is real, and it's a pretty crazy time to be a parent. How do you help your kid understand that the world you brought them into is quickly collapsing?
Re: kids, I have no idea. I can honestly only handle this with the level of detached analysis I do because I don't have kids. If i did... I would be seriously considering things that one shouldn't type onto message boards at this point.
FWIW, in an attempt to be constructive. If you do rudimentary math around the size of the problem and the timeline to address it, the only person who has even come close is Bernie Sander's plan. This will require an investment, from the US alone, in the 10 - 100T order of magnitude range. Bernie's plan is 16T. Everyone else is in the single-digit Ts.
So if you believe in science, math, and your childrens future... you kindof have to be like not just voting for but actively canvassing/phone-banking/campaigning for Bernie (assuming you're in the US).
This goes back to the denial thing being more about time and money than the abstract notion. We don't have the time to wait for better plans or options anymore. A bad plan this election cycle is vastly preferable to a better plan in 4 - 8 more years.
There is a 16T command-and-control option on the table in 2020. There is no carbon tax and/or nuclear option on the table. We have to address reality not our preferences for a hypothetical ideal.
Even if Bernie's plan turns out to be a disaster, that's a failure we need to get through as fast as possible so the public accepts a carbon tax funded nuclear renaissance as a plan B. Which again, may be your and my plan A, but its not where either the candidates or the electorate are TODAY.
Yes, although that's primarily because the state had directed it towards industrialisation. Centralised control would make large scale efforts towards any national goal easier to achieve.
Carbon taxes are a great idea - Australia was ahead of the curve on that one until the right killed it once they gained power.
There may well be scenarios where an AR-15 is preferable to a plain hunting rifle, but in the event of an environmental, economic, and societal collapse I think it's unlikely that the kind of gun some random person owns will be a major factor in their survival.
There probably is one with an R by the name...
I know, you weren't talking about them. But there is more than one party running here.
I'd say as a parent it would be pretty irresponsible to say anything that would make the kid feel any sudden anxiety.
We don't really talk about it. If our kids express their worry the we will say the truth - biomes are not doing too good. But we don't really consider it as some major doomsday looming over.
Personally I was really anxious as a kid. I was really scared when I learned that one day sun will turn to red giant and destroy earth. Ditto about asteroids. The Amazon (30 years ago as kid I refused to eat at McDonalds for a while). And there were also actual bad things happening to people close to me - but you get the point. Easily distressed.
As an adult, I see no way this existential anxiety would have done any good to me.
So, as a parent I play it cool. And besides, we don't know what is going to happen. It's not going to be rainbows and sunshine ... but really. If you were with a kid on a train to Auschwitz, would you tell them me and him would soon be gassed to death, or lie to them it's all going to be fine. I'd lie.
I agree it is a dilemma.
For some problems you can make them aware without raising the anxiety level.
For some, you just have to hide/overcome your own fears and say that it is/things are alright. Sometimes, kids just need that reassurance from the parent, even if they know that things may not be alright.
Please don't strawman me, it's not polite.
It's bleak, but pragmatic.
If your lake is being overfished, you can stop fishing all you want, it won't change a thing. You need quotas or a tax.
It's a tragedy of the commons and we need to move together on this.
You can't push adulterated foods out of the marketplace by telling individual consumers to make wise choices. You need something like the Pure Food and Drug Act.
You can't push water-polluting laundry detergents out of the marketplace by telling individual consumers to make wise choices. You need something like the Clean Water Act.
Telling Los Angelenos agitating for clean air, circa 1967, that they should buy their own cleaner cars (or find ways to avoid driving altogether) before supporting the government California Air Resources Board would likewise have been futile. They needed regulation, not more personal virtue.
Positive collective action is required to solve collective action problems. I already went vegetarian and drive less than most Americans. I've never mentioned my personal behavior in climate discussions here before because it's beside the point. I keep upvoting posts that propose carbon taxes and tariffs (or equivalent statutory phase-out requirements) because those are the things that will make a difference.
Yeah, no rain drop believes it is responsible for the flood.
If you actually, truly give a damn instead of just using it a some kind of virtue signaling then you should be willing to make sacrifices. Demonstrate that you care instead of just talking.
If they want the status of being captains of industry or business leaders, but they don't come through on matters of serious public concern where they can make a difference, it's not wrong for people point out their hypocrisy. Why is it the responsibility of the least powerful people to sacrifice first before those who profit from the status quo inconvenience themselves?
some of them are so people just go to other places.
If there's ever a collective lawsuit for the excess carbon footprints produced, there will be hell to pay, and the people getting rich off of pushing externalities to their communities today will be the same ones serving life sentences tomorrow.
I don't exempt myself from blame for the destruction of the natural world, but neither should you. I believe there is a sliding gradient of blame to be applied to all people, but really, except for a few notable exceptions (oil, finance execs in particular) it's a difficult and somewhat futile model to apply. Am I to blame for taking a vacation overseas every three years? Is a businessman more or less to blame for flying cross-country every week for meetings?
Unfortunately for those of my generation who are "woke" to the catastrophe of climate change, much of our lives have necessarily become a precarious balancing act between trying to live justly and trying to live happily. I sadly question my ability to bring children into the world with my SO in the face of a problem that is tantamount to Armageddon. But our own personal attitudes and wants shrink in the face of the enormity of the quandary that is climate change.
What I personally have come to believe is that change for the better flows from two things: willingness to forgo one's ego, and collective political action towards curbing our wasteful modern lifestyle.
I have seen it before and I always wonder when it comes up: If you take a flight with Emirates, is it considered pollution by Emirates or by you? What about the CO2 used to build the plane? Should you divide those emissions among everyone that flew in the plane, or should that CO2 be added to the company?
I would love to dive the Great Barrier Reef while it's still great, but can't justify it on the grounds you lay out. But I wish people could get the sense of what is being lost. Seeing it in person, in situ, is very different from watching it on a screen.
I assume this happens in a first world country.
My 2nd rate country still throws it's trash in the forest. Literally.
TL;DR: [T]his isn’t a train that stops for anyone, regardless of all the radical idealism, all of the futurist woo, the green colored packaging or compact fluorescent light bulbs, or all of the liberal sentimentality and conservative denialism.
This is not a movie. There is not a plot line. There is no salvation at the end of the hour. You are not a survivor in the zombie apocalypse. This is real. There are no adults secretly or overtly in control waiting to step in. Superman isn’t coming to save us from ourselves. You are in the middle of an extinction event that just so happens to include you.