The propensity of humans to pretend all is well when it’s not is hardly new. Look back 2,600 years, when Jeremiah warned Israel of impending doom at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, only to be ridiculed and ignored. Closer to home, look back 75 years, when millions of Americans resisted taking action against Hitler despite irrefutable evidence of the Nazi genocide of European Jews.
The human instinct to pretend all is right when it isn’t runs deep. With the announcement last week that July was Earth’s hottest month on record, now would be a great time for humanity to grapple with this instinct and move beyond the denial of climate change. Yet a passionate core of deniers remains vocal in its resistance despite the preponderance of evidence.
A sampling of comments on my Facebook page last week drives this point home:
Frank Allen writes: “BS that’s all this climate change is Its called weather you dweebs”
Steve Jensen writes: “Bahahahaha ! A true libtard. Straight from the public library – climate action news!”
Tim Henning writes: “Worry about something meaningful and knock off useless fear mongering about weather not being the way you want it. Dumb !!”
Kelly Harbeson writes: “Oh yeah! Who better to try to sell your climate alarmism the a pandering prostitute of a politician.”
All dudes, I might point out. It’s not just a so-called “pandering prostitute of a politician” these folks choose to ignore. It’s the US military. The insurance industry. Monsanto. Weather.com. Ninety-seven percent of all scientists. These are the Jeremiahs of the climate crisis. But instead of the tattered clothes of a Biblical prophet, they wear suits, uniforms and white lab coats. They are the establishment. They “get” climate change.
Still, the deniers persist.
But I take heart. What we’re seeing is the last flailing backlash of the Ostrich Society, of those who fear change and thus bury their heads deep in habits and ideologies that will soon be untenable as we struggle to adapt in the New Climate Era. Of course, we stand a better chance of adaptation – survival, even – if we get with the program sooner rather than later.
Time is not on our side. Action is needed – urgently, passionately, immediately.
This is why I walk – across America in 2014, across Iowa along the proposed pipeline route earlier this year, and from Normandy to Paris this coming November.
This is why it’s important to repeatedly, persistently, politely “bird-dog” presidential candidates, until they understand that they MUST take climate change seriously if they are to have our support.
That is why we Pledge to Mobilize, so that the moral and political force of hundreds of thousands of Americans signing their names to the Pledge makes it impossible for our elected officials NOT to take action.
This is why what happens in Paris at the U.N. Climate Summit later this year is critical. Never has such an assembly been so timely . . . and ironically, so ignored by the mainstream media in the U.S.
Finally, this is why, to paraphrase Gandhi, every little thing we do toward creating a better world is important, even though it may seem insignificant. Writing a letter to the editor, speaking publicly, talking with friends and family, helping a candidate for public office. In normal times, we do these things on issues we care about. In times of crisis, such as this, we must do them with a deep sense of urgency . . . because our future depends on it.
On today’s Fallon Forum:
1. Lee Camp joins us with his take on the Clean Power Plan.
2. Ron Yarnell offers his take on Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, writing, “Finally! Two candidates who are not trying to claim the center! And they are willing to get in your face about it!”
3. We talk with Matt Sinovic of Progress Iowa.
4. Caucus Buzz: Gwen Merz joins us to explain the protest at the Iowa State Fair this weekend over the DNC’s limiting the number of debates.
Join us live every Monday from 11:00-12:00 noon CDT on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. Podcasts available, too.
Thanks! – Ed Fallon