Collective indifference

Maybe we youngsters are simplistic, but we just cannot comprehend why the adults are having such difficulty to tackle the problem head-on when the scientists and experts have already ascertained that global warming is going to wreck the world.  Many effective and practical actions and policies for mitigation are available but the governments around the world still have not shown any meaningful way to go forward and defuse the threat as of now.

Today, we talked about the possible and probable reasons for our collective apathy to this urgent crisis.  We were hopeful that if we had a grasp of the underlying complications, we could formulate better strategies to advance our cause.  We understand that we cannot rely solely on governments to efficiently and effectively make this problem disappear but we believe in the power of the masses that can be mobilized to effect change from the bottom up to cut back our carbon emissions.

We decide that the general population can be divided into three groups: the non-believers, the activists and the ‘inactivists.’  The non-believers are the climate change deniers and skeptics who we think are the minority.  There is really nothing that we can do with them until they change their minds by the persuasive power of the overwhelming, accumulating and undeniable evidence or by fear that they will be left behind to fend for themselves when disasters strike.  The activists are the believers who are working hard and fighting in the frontline to bring attention and solutions of the issue to the government and general public but unfortunately are also the minority.  The majority are the ‘inactivists.’  Either they are the believers who are inactive on the issue, or they are the ‘undecideds’ who flip-flop on whether they believe in global warming or not, depending on how it affects them on a certain day.  This is the group that needs to be motivated into action.

Why are they not more involved if they are already believers or can already feel the effects of climate change?  Our group speculated that there are four reasons, which we touched on before.  They are deprived, distracted, detached and/or disillusioned.  The deprived ones are hamstrung by poverty and the daily struggles of basic survival.  The distracted ones, mainly from the working class, toil day and night for their corporate masters in exchange for a salary that may be above poverty but still leaves them stressed over paying all their bills and caring for themselves and their families.  The detached ones are mostly people who do not have to worry about money or their livelihoods and are well sheltered in their own comfort zone that lulls them into complacency.  The disillusioned ones are convinced either by external influences or their own irrational thinking that as individuals they cannot do anything significant or make any noticeable difference, so they do not even bother to try.

These are all very natural and human responses to an enormous but abstract hazard.  However, when everything is going downhill onward, when we reach the point of no return at the cliff, and when it comes to a matter of life or death, we must muster up our courage to do something decisively to get out of this quagmire.  This is that point in time and we must all take part.  It is a matter of rousing the ‘inactivists’ and spurring them into action, especially by allying to their immediate worries or troubles, appealing to their sense of self-preservation and offering them a path to salvation.  The Nature Order Zociety may be, can be and should be able to do that.

Let us imagine what if…