Climate denial: why we just pretend it isn't happening

This is a great article to understand why the vast majority of our earth just doesn’t do anything.

Something like the ostriches: pretending it isn’t happening.

Despite the outrageous fact that I’ll soon be dead forever, I live in the present, not the future. Given a choice between an alarming abstraction (death) and the reassuring evidence of my senses (breakfast!), my mind prefers to focus on the latter. The planet, too, is still marvelously intact, still basically normal—seasons changing, another election year coming, new comedies on Netflix—and its impending collapse is even harder to wrap my mind around than death. Other kinds of apocalypse, whether religious or thermonuclear or asteroidal, at least have the binary neatness of dying: one moment the world is there, the next moment it’s gone forever. Climate apocalypse, by contrast, is messy. It will take the form of increasingly severe crises compounding chaotically until civilization begins to fray. Things will get very bad, but maybe not too soon, and maybe not for everyone. Maybe not for me.

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Once again, science fiction can help. One of my favorite authors, William Gibson, has created the notion of a messy, gradual, progress-not-quite-keeping-up-with-mayhem, invisible-except-in-the-big-picture kind of apocalypse, which he calls the Jackpot.

Wilf reveals that the Jackpot begins in the middle of the 21st century as a combination of climate change and other political issues, followed by a series of droughts, famines, pandemics, political chaos, and anarchy. 80% of the global human population dies off. But as this is going on, scientists have created nanotech called Assemblers that begins to rebuild society, as well as finding other scientific and engineering breakthroughs. As a result, everything is very efficient and eco-friendly in Wilf’s future, but it has mostly empty cities and most natural animal species are extinct. (source: Wikipedia)

In my long life reading SF, utopias and dystopias, this was the apocalypse that felt the most alive and realistic. Now I read of revisions on the estimates of methane hydrates that might belch out into the atmosphere, or of breakthroughs in solar panel efficiency (now way better than coal, by the way) and I think “There goes another bit of the Jackpot”.

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I recall a song by the funk band Tower of Power that goes:

I can’t stand to see the slaughter but still I eat the meat
I can’t stand dishonest people but still sometimes I cheat
I can’t stand that air pollution but still I drive the car
Maybe them’s the reasons why things is like they are

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Speaking as a member of the generation that contains the bulk of the climate deniers.

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