Don’t forget, being able to worry about climate change is a luxury.
I just read an article by Obama on how best to tackle climate change. He made two very important points that I believe everyone should know.
We all know climate change is disastrous. Yes, oceans will rise to the point of flooding entire countries, yes seas will warm and destroy sea life like coral, and yes it will lead to extreme weathers such as flash floods and longer dry seasons. This message has been blasted all through the western world, we learn it at school, we see it on social media, and there is always a TV documentary talking about it in some way. We know it’s bad. But we are complacent, these severe effects are 20 years away from really affecting us, day to day we see little change in the weather or sea levels. What people seem to forget and what Obama points out is that it is ‘a luxury to worry about climate change’.
It’s a luxury to worry about climate change; you have to have enough to eat before you start worrying about what’s going to happen to the planet 30 years from now. – Barack Obama
As a general rule, we humans are quite poor at thinking about events way in the future. For most people climate change is but a distant problem. Additionally, we are much less likely to worry about climate change if we have other short-term problems to deal with. For most people food, children, and money in general are far more important things to worry about. This is quite a difficult concept for the average climate activist or conservationist to really comprehend. Most are middle class well off and well-educated people. Most people like this have little else to worry about, and therefore climate change is absolutely an issue. This often create a problem when say a poorer person and an activist discusses climate change. The activist can easily get frustrated with what they perceive to be ignorance or complacency towards the issue. ‘Why? Why don’t they realise the scale of the issue at hand’ they might think. But it is not complacency, they do not have the luxury of being able to worry about climate change, much else is on their mind.
How the do we approach this problem? Obama proposes that the trick is to make sure that they know solving climate change is in their best interests both economically and environmentally. A world where climate change is ignored will hit the poorest harder than the wealthy. He gives the example of Kenyan farmers that are encroaching on national park’s territory in order to cultivate more food. They ignore these national parks because they have never been informed on their importance or their potential to improve their future. To them these parks are simple impeding their ability to grow food and making their already hard lives harder. The biggest mistake climate activists can make is to not adequately explain to people that solving the issue of climate change is in their best interests. To not do so will cause a rift between the two parties, which will undoubtable contribute to the anger already felt at the establishment, and above all will prevent worldwide progress on the issue.
Remember, we cannot solve this problem without the consent of all the people. All must be on board for it to be a success. It is also the morally correct thing to do because it is in all our best interests to do so.
I highly recommend that you read the article: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/may/26/barack-obama-food-climate-change?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other