On the heels of new reports uncovering our short time window to prevent the most extreme impacts of climate change, we at Climate Dads are publishing a series of articles reviewing the basics of climate change. This post, republished from our friends at Crowdsourcing Sustainability, reminds us that the impacts will be real and personal.
Climate change does, in fact, matter to you even if you haven’t realized it up until now.
But climate change is about more than that. It's about our legacies.
Believe it or not, at some point we will likely judge ourselves or be judged by others based on our net contributions to climate change.
Many of us will, at some point, look back on our lives and judge ourselves based on what we knew when about climate change and how we acted on that information because of the moral implications. This is because you, by definition, are either part of the problem or you are part of the solution.
By polluting greenhouse gas emissions we harm other people and ourselves. That is a fact. By polluting GHGs unnecessarily or unconsciously, we are saying, through our actions, that we don’t care about the harmful effect of our actions on others both today and tomorrow.
If you personally don’t care that’s fine, but I can assure you that your kids or grandkids will care because they will have to deal with the climate we leave for them. They will be the ones harmed or disadvantaged the most by what we do now. They’ll learn about how the world used to be, how we altered the climate with fossil fuels, when we realized we were destroying it, and what was or wasn’t done once we knew.
What will you say when your child inevitably asks you, “If people knew about it, why didn’t they do anything to stop it?” and “Did you do anything about it?”
Do your actions align with your values? If they don’t there is cognitive dissonance. There’s a difference between who you want to be, or think of yourself as, and who you actually are. Removing this discrepancy aligns your values and actions. It makes you happier.
I am not one to impose or judge. I just would like everyone to have thought this through because I don’t think we fully realize what we’re doing yet. I think once people have looked at it this way, some may see it differently, which is why I say it. But, by all means, do what you want to do! You are a free person and get to make your own decisions!
Moral considerations aside, you have every reason to selfishly make climate change your number one big picture issue or at least start incorporating it into your decision making for your own sake because it will impact society and each one of us that much.
Crowdsourcing Sustainability, founded by Ryan Hagen, is a community of people from around the world united by the need for climate action. Whether you want to learn about climate change and sustainability, share your knowledge and stories with others, get inspired, or connect with people who share your vision of a better world, get started by connecting with Crowdsourcing Sustainability.