November 8, 2019


Joel Nodelman

More Struggles with Climate Hypocrisy

About the author

Joel is an engineer and risk management specialist with over forty years of professional practice. He is committed to helping his clients achieve climate resiliency and sustainability.

I have struggled for some time with the idea that we need to be perfect to advocate change. This idea often comes up when we talk about the need for climate action.  Often, the discussion degrades rapidly into accusations of hypocrisy.

Folks demand:

"If you drive a car, or heat your house, or use synthetic fabrics, or any other technology, then you are a hypocrite and do not have the right to to advocate for climate action."

It is easy to take the emotional bait. We feel guilty, try to justify ourselves, and regain our composure, usually by trying to convince the other guy that we have the moral credentials to make our case.

The whole business is a sham. When we take the bait, the topic changes. We are no longer discussing climate change. Rather, we are talking about ourselves. The topic becomes about me. The whole debate goes off the rails, and there is no further discussion. This is the point, I think.

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