Who Cares How Subtle Nature Is? Where Is The Money?
After taking a tour of many videos about global warming on YouTube, one can feel very alone in believing something must be done to save the environment on earth. Most everyone tends to focus on the average temperature of the climate. While temperature can cause problems that directly affect human beings, it’s just the final symptom of a system of ecological degeneration that is robbing the life cycle of vital nutrient recycling and biological diversity.
A lot of people who leave comments on explanatory or pleading global warming videos say things like “global warming is a hoax;” “the temperature has only increased by one degree;” “who cares what some tree huggin’ hippie idiot has nightmares about?” To a certain extent, it is not surprising to read these kinds of comments since it is next to impossible for one person to observe the environmental difference they make by driving a car with 50 mpg fuel-efficiency car versus a 15 mpg clunker. You might be able to convince most people by saying, “look at how much you save every month by driving that 50 mpg car.” Why not just appeal to a person’s wallet?
The problem with environmentalism as a motivational subject is that it requires a willingness to see things as a complete system. For example, it is hard to notice that bumblebees are dying and therefore are not pollinating plants, a change which would directly increase the cost of raising any crop that requires pollination – like apples. Btw, North American bees are dying and nobody knows why it is happening (although human activities more than likely have something to do with it). Anyways, lets imagine the “Global warming is a hoax” guy loves to eat apples. One day, when he goes to the store and finds that his apples are suddenly triple the price they used to be, he might wonder why. His first instinct would probably suggest that the apple company was trying to rip him off. It would not be until he looked around for other vendors that he would discover that apples are just more expensive now. Since wild bees are uncommon, apple growers have to hire expensive bee keepers to come and pollinate their crops; apples become much more expensive.
Plenty of people will continue to do what is good for the health of the planet simply because they are inspired to ask thoughtful questions and think that doing the right is its own reward. For the other 95% of the human population, perhaps appealing to people’s pocket books is a better way of advancing environmental interests? It does not matter how the world is preserved if it gets saved, right?