Guy R. McPherson is known for his alarmist attitude about global warming, and, although I do not have anything against voicing warnings when danger is real, I am strongly against defeatism or public speech that promotes that all actions are futile.
Please listen this video until 17:30 and then continue:
Guy is basically saying that nothing you or anyone else can personally do will make any significant change. Also, he mentions common advices from 10 years ago (switch the bulb, drive a different kind of car, or bicycle), concluding that those will not help much either.
There are many things wrong with this message, but let me start with the simple one.
Each of us represents a cell of a much bigger “organism”. If each cell says that there is no point in living, then humanity would die. So, the outcome of our future is always the sum of good and bad things we do.
For instance, if tomorrow we decide we do not want to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, that would mean that 46 million turkeys would live to see at least one more day.
That is true, but global warming gives us a limited amount of time, so who is responsible?
You are! If you want to live, you are responsible. If you have kids, you are responsible for you and your kids, and kids of their kids, and so on.
As a parent, you are the one who should protect them. Don’t expect anyone else to come to the rescue. Yes, you are responsible for climate change, and, if everyone thinks that way, you will have the support and help of everyone; if not, you will be alone, but you will be doing what is right.
Do you have kids? The question is, why did you have them, if you are not planning to fight for them?
Each of your actions—how many cars you are buying, how much electricity and firewood you are using, how much food and what kind of food you are eating and giving to your family—is all on you. You are responsible for your habits, no one else. The outcome is always the sum of all.
When a poor person from a third world country has 5 children and then those children start starving, it is sad, but those children are the responsibility of their parents.
Why did they make so many children, if they cannot support them?
Just as always, because they were selfish, and because they did not care. If they cared about children, they wouldn't think about quantity but rather about quality of life for those they have.
The planet is already overpopulated, and many things are collapsing, land and water are polluted, we are losing topsoil. If you are not an endangered race, why would you have more than one child? Especially when you consider that, with all what is going on, they may not live to be adults.
Because they love children?
No, they don’t. They love the idea of love. Love is hard work; love means protecting those you love. Love means finding solutions when it seems that there are none. Love means being hopeful, even when everything is falling apart all around you. Love means fighting for life, and, above all, love does not mean following and doing what other sheep falling off the cliff do.
Talking about loving people next to you and being kind but doing nothing is just selfish hypocrisy. Even worse, defeatism can infect others.
Personally, it is an example of careless behaviour.
It can be summed up by the following:
If you are unsatisfied with people stealing, be the one who does not. If you are unsatisfied with people cheating, be the one who does not. If you are unsatisfied with everyone else creating darknes, be the beacon of light.
Don’t justify your actions by lame excuses; it won’t make you or anything else better.
“Because ‘everyone’ else does it, I will do it” is a poor excuse. Everyone doing bad things does make not make anything better and never will. If everyone else jumped into the fire pit, would you do it, as well?
We are all responsible for how we live in relation to everything else. It is important how we live and what we do but also what we say, as our words have the ability to influence others.
It is Guy’s responsibility when he says we cannot do anything, because, by openly giving up, he is negatively influencing other people to give up, creating a circle of hopelessness and despair.
So, the question is: can we do anything?
Yes, we can! Each of us has to take responsibility for his/her own portion of carbon and has to find a way to live a carbon-neutral, sustainable life in line with nature.
What are the steps? What can we do?
There are many things. I have written about it before, and I will write about it in the future, so stay tuned...