Friday, November 28, 2008

Climate change

I've been seeing quite a few of these types of articles lately.

I find it a bit strange that a lot of people even have opinions on climate change at all: it's something that we simply cannot control - and by that I mean this: what have you done today specifically for the sake of attempting to change global temperatures? Yesterday? The day before? Nothing. That's what.

Some say economists don't like voting because they know that, statistically speaking, their one vote will not win any elections. They are right in one important sense: the weight of people's actions varies per person. Al Gore and environmentalists had a lot of influence in what is being done today about global warming, just like people who worked on election campaigns and news agencies had more influence on elections than the average Joe. You and I haven't done anything compared to that. Voting for a new president really doesn't count - the resulting policy would be the same regardless because, realistically, there are far more people convinced by political/scientific/pseudo-scientific propaganda than there are people willing to vote differently due to environmental ideology and their own research. Besides, the policy doesn't change because one or another layman voted for the green party. It'll be whatever the world leaders decide. Sure, there's lobbying, but you aren't doing it, which brings us back to the point that a few people's actions weigh differently by several orders of magnitude.

What I think we need to realize is that not wanting to die from a phenomenal ecological disaster is not the same as caring about global warming. Caring means doing an extraordinary effort to accomplish something. Talking about an idea that we're not comfortable about (e.g. dying in agonizing starvation) is not effort, it's simply insecurity.

What matters

What I'm saying is that it doesn't matter if the world is going to end, just like it doesn't matter what your neighbour is doing for dinner. All of these factors are pretty much chaotic (and yes, what your neighbour bought for dinner has an impact on farming and manufacturing, and therefore on the environment). Others who have careers in the respective fields will do all the work to shape the environment of the future. So I ask, why worry about it?

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