More Struggles with Climate Hypocrisy

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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Every step in the right direction is a good step.

We need to remember that climate change is the death of a thousand cuts. It results from the cumulative effect of all of our carbon use, not just that of a few large emitters.

We need to celebrate each success along the way, small as it may be. If we demand perfection, before we act, we never make progress. ...

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Rough Stuff on the Climate Front

It has been a scary week. I saw images from London of climate protesters hauled off of the top of tube trains and mauled by the crowd. Folks thrown to the platform, punched and kicked, and commuters pushing against each other, some to protect vulnerable protestors and some to keep the violence going. I believe in everyone’s right to express their opinion. But, I worry that things are getting violent. ...

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About the Author

More Struggles with Climate Hypocrisy 7

Joel Nodelman

President & CEO

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.

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