Changing the climate…of denial

by Adam

Climate change denial is nothing new. All the way back on June 19, 1992, an obscure radio host named Rush Limbaugh declared:

“Even if polar ice caps melted, there would be no rise in ocean levels. After all, if you have a glass of water with ice cubes in it, as the ice melts, it simply turns to liquid and the water level in the glass remains the same.”

He sure is convincing, huh? You know, in an appealingly simplistic kind of way. But then again, since the majority of the world’s ice is actually not in water but on land (in Antarctica), if that ice cap did melt, well, sea level would rise. Big time.

Regardless, for the sake of this post, let’s pretend either of these statements is true:

  • Global warming is a hoax
  • Humans are not responsible for climate change

Well, guess what? It wouldn’t at all change the primary mission of dark green activists across the globe: stopping ecocide. Climate change, of course, connects to many of the other pressing environmental problems but our shared eco-system would be in serious peril even if the climate deniers miraculously turned out to be correct.

Among many other things, we’d still have to deal with:

Nuclear Waste

The half-life of DDT in the environment is 15 years—which is bad enough—but the half-life of uranium-235 is 704 million years; and for uranium-238, it’s about 4.47 billion years.

Factory Farming

According to World Watch, animal byproducts are responsible for 32.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51% of annual worldwide human caused greenhouse gas

Pesticides

“Prior to World War II, annual worldwide use of pesticides ran right around zero,” says author Derrick Jensen. “By now it’s 500 billion tons, increasing every year.” As a result of such a massive toxic overload, about 860 Americans suffer from pesticide poisoning every single day; that’s almost 315,000 cases per year. Worldwide, the death rate from pesticide poisonings is more than 200,000 per year.

Not to mention, deforestation, overfishing, GMOs, sprawl, the rising extinction rate, and so many more clear and present threats to our landbase. Without even factoring in climate change, the state of eco-urgency is: “now or never.” Translation: There’s way too much crucial work to be done for us to waste time arguing with disingenuous deniers.

In fact, I’d like to propose a far more rational and accessible method to transcend the (alleged) debate on climate change. I call it the “Seat Belt Supposition” and it goes a little something like this:

While some of us fasten our seat belts to avoid getting a ticket, many more do so as a safety measure. We don’t wait until we see another vehicle spinning out of control to snap the seat belt into place. We fasten it upon entering a car. It can sometimes be a little uncomfortable to wear, but if we arrive at our destination without having needed that seat belt, we typically don’t regret using it.

By applying this same mentality to climate change—to be unconcerned whether or not the human role in global warming is accurate or overstated—we’d be living with a prudent vision for the present and our shared future. The only players with a vested interest in the homicidal/suicidal status quo are those who earn short-term profits off of our conspicuous consumption…and our indifference.

So why not alter our lifestyle as if our very existence were hanging in the balance? To accept this challenge not only has the potential to downsize the global damage but would also require us to overcome corporate propaganda—a compelling step of its own.

I repeat: There is no down side to living your life as if we’re at the environmental point of no return—and we humans are almost entirely to blame. If we do so, our culture could become a little less violent, daily life might grow a touch simpler, the eco-system would get at least a temporary reprieve, and corporate profits will plummet precipitously.

Sounds like a win-win proposition to me.

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.