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Do we only change our thinking when disaster strikes (TSU question/ response) by revisesociology

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· @revisesociology ·
$7.54
Do we only change our thinking when disaster strikes (TSU question/ response)
This is my response to @riverflows question of the week ‘[do we only change our thinking when disaster strikes](https://steempeak.com/philosophy/@riverflows/do-we-only-change-our-thinking-when-disaster-strikes-tsu-response)?’ I had intended it to briefer than it’s ended up being, but brief isn’t how it’s turned out as I segwayed the post into something sociological.

First thoughts are that there’s a lot of terms that need defining, the definitions of which will determine our answer to the question…..

In terms of disasters I’m going to follow @riverflows and focus on global warming and limit my focus on ‘thinking’ to how we think about the causes of and solutions to global warming. As to the ‘we’ I’m going to focus mainly on American public opinion, because they're the most sever per capita polluters in terms of CO2 emissions. 

So I can effectively rewrite this question as follows: have environmental disasters such as the recent wildfires in California and Australia changed the way the public thinks about the causes and potential solutions to global warming?

### More people seem to believe that climate change is man-made 

According to a 2019 report '[Climate Change and the American Mind](https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/climate-change-in-the-american-mind-april-2019/)' by Yale's Centre for Climate Change and Communication, there does seem to be a gradual increase in the number of Americans who believe that climate change is man-made 

![Screenshot 20200121 at 19.07.48.png](https://files.steempeak.com/file/steempeak/revisesociology/XF6laz9M-Screenshot202020-01-2120at2019.07.48.png)
 
And [this National Geographic article](https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/01/climate-change-awareness-polls-show-rising-concern-for-global-warming/) theorises that the increased number of heat related fire-disasters is largely responsible for this increased awareness. 

However, even though it's tempting to agree with this, proving the link between the increased frequency of climate change related environmental disasters and this very gradual shift in consciousness is tough when the coverage of such disasters is mediated largely by the mainstream media. 

Personally I have a theory that it's not so much the environmental disasters themselves that's resulted in more people thinking that climate change is man-made, and it certainly isn't mainstream media coverage, which tends to focus on 'cute' animals such as Polar Bears (yes i know they're not really cute) and Koalas, and actually very rarely discuss the causes of the disasters. 

Rather what's changing opinion is (1) the incredible weight of scientific evidence that we've caused GW and (2) millions of people who actually care spreading the word face to face. 

Anyway, the fact that just above 50% of Americans now think we're causing global warming is the only positive change in thinking that climate change disasters may have brought about. The bad news is not a lot else has changed.  

### Most people don’t think they need to commit to a radical reduction in their consumption of fossil fuels

Oh yes EVERYONE recycles EVERYTHING and EVERYONE goes vegan for two weeks in January, all for the sake of the planet. However, clearly there isn’t mass commitment to giving up the car, or given up the holiday abroad, or giving up meat for the other 50 weeks of the year.

In fact in the majority world: mainly India and China, the consumption of resources per capita is increasing, so while we may all believe in the fact that consumption leads to global warming, we clearly don’t think we need to reduce our consumption.

![Screenshot 20200121 at 19.24.10.png](https://files.steempeak.com/file/steempeak/revisesociology/OCJSVcJQ-Screenshot202020-01-2120at2019.24.10.png)

### Most people haven’t made the critical link between modernity, capitalism and consumption of fossil fuels

It’s a perpetual irritation to me that business news always laments a slow down in economic growth, or a slow down in consumption – it’s a reminder that capitalism is built on consumption.

It's a massive part of deep-green theory - the fact that an economic system built on perpetual consumption lead growth simply cannot sustain itself - so IF by 'change in thinking' we mean a seismic mass political shift to the left, then clearly this hasn't happened in this age of climate change disasters! 

### Most people haven't switched from a rational, technocentric view of the world

There is a deep-green, or deep-ecological train of thought which argues that a technocentric world view is part of the problem - a view which sees the earth as something to be studied objectively and as a bunch of resources to be used for man's benefit (it's also a tradtionally male viewpoint, and and anthropocentric one) - this is a view that sees humans as apart from nature. 

What might be preferable, an more resistant to natural disasters is if we all adopted a more spiritual, ecocentric view in which we see ourselves as part of nature, as part of the web of life, where nature becomes something sacred and not something to be used! 

IF we need to switch to that point of view to save the planet, we are a long way off - half of Americans still believe in tech solutions to GW - firmly in the 'rationalist' camp....

![Screenshot 20200121 at 19.07.11.png](https://files.steempeak.com/file/steempeak/revisesociology/XNsNHqLz-Screenshot202020-01-2120at2019.07.11.png)


### Final thoughts 

If it were the case the human species only changed their thinking when disaster struck then that would mean we were a reactive species rather than a pro-active species, and modernity was pretty much founded on the later – on the idea that humans have the capacity for free will and self-determination and can apply rational thought to bring about progress, often through the application of the scientific method leading to the invention of new technologies.

If this is the dominant world view in a particular society it is quite possible for that society to tolerate even more and even more intense climate disasters while maintaining faith in the capacity of science and technology to eventually ‘solve’ climate change.

It’s maybe the later part of that which explains why we seem so relaxed about climate change – because we have this broad ‘faith’ in the capacity for new future technologies to produce energy with minimal environmental impact, nuclear fusion being the ‘holy grail’.

Then again, maybe it's this very 'technocentrism' which needs to be challenged

### Short answer to the original question - do we only change our thinking when disaster strikes? 

No, not in any deep, meaningful sense of the word 'change'. 
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vote details (333)
@abh12345 ·
Well put together sir :)

Personally, I feel the first world is aware that radical change (no more beef, or petrol, or coke, or palm oil, etc, etc,) needs to happen, but maybe don't feel that their personal changes will have any impact.  

The third world is growing and want their turn to drive nice cars and eat sirloin, and I think that's when Mother Nature will decide that's enough.
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@revisesociology ·
According to that quite extensive survey by Yale - it's about half of the US that thinks that about Personal change. 

As to the later, it's one of the reasons I support aid to the developing world - for sustainable development initiatives that allow for improved living standards without the impact - there's lots of interesting ideas - such as establishing drone ports in Ethiopia where roads make no sense in a lot of the country! 
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@riverflows ·
Drone ports ?
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@abh12345 ·
Yeah that makes a lot of sense - 'we' should certainly be helping these countries with developments that don't eat the planet up, but still improve quality of living.
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@tts ·
$0.11
To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.
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vote details (4)
@shanibeer ·
$0.03
Do you have a similar analysis for England/UK/Ireland?
Not everyone recycles everything - I was surprised to learn last year that Leicester only recycles 40% of its household waste. As I and my immediate neighbours can barely rustle up a full carrier bag of waste between the three of us each week, someone somewhere can't be doing any recycling at all. But we live in Upper Poshington, and who knows how those someones somewhere are struggling?
I've moved quite naturally to a less meat diet, perhaps three or four times a month, and I've considered moving over to Oatly ... but my milkman is a small business, he had to buy his round from the dairy. He delivers milk six days a week, whatever the weather and I've never known him to miss. Oatly is okay, but it's not quite the thing, and I can't bear to let my milkman down.
Over in Dublin beef farmers are protesting for better prices ...
I prefer to use public transport (are the trains public, though?) but after getting stranded several times because there are gaps in the infrastructure and one time walking bloody miles, I am using my car to go and see my family, the cost of which is about a quarter of travelling by train.
Class war, that's what it is.
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vote details (3)
@revisesociology ·
>Similar analysis for UK etc...

No I don't, I just used what I could find on a strict time limit, be interesting to dig it out, I think we're generally quite green. 

It sounds like yer doing what you can, don't beat yourself up about it! Recycling especially good! 

I also like the idea of supporting local where you can. Your milkman sounds awesome. I was thinking about that the other day - we used to get a delivery, back when he would come collect the money door to door, changed times! 

It is of course much easier going green if you're middle class - the local XR is that to the hilt. I don't really fit in. 
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@shanibeer ·
I was thinking about this later and wondering whether it would be possible to overlay charts showing green attitudes/behaviours with those that show health inequalities.
I am heartened by the random acts of kindness I see and receive every day around me, even people that don't know each other.
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@shanibeer ·
my milkman is awesome and glass bottles, too :)
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@riverflows ·
This class thing is becoming more and more apparent to me. There's a post apocalyptic Australian series called 'The Commons' which addresses that - as the world climate gets worse, the poor suffer and the rich cloister themselves self righteously in bomb proof weather proof high rises. 
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@shanibeer ·
It's inherent in capitalism and exacerbated by the introduction of digital networks which increase inequalities by some magnitude unless there are specific interventions in design.
As I've mentioned in another comment, though, I have hope in the small kindnesses that people show each other every day and the compassion and empathy behind it.
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@abh12345 ·
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@shanibeer ·
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@misterengagement ·
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@riverflows ·
$0.03
Two things I totally agree with (I love the entire answer) - 1. YES - we rely on science and tech as a way of fixing problems ie. make nano bees to fix bee extinction - when we should be considering our own individual habits as part of collective action (but we're not too good at that - it's too easy to delude ourselves) and 2. Sacred Economics - yes, we have to change our whole way of thinking. This 'nature' vs 'us' division must give way to a connection between us and the environment. We can take, sure, but we gotta give too. It's not as if that kind of economic thinking hasn't benefitted us before - we did alright BEFORE, in a more gentle and observant way, taking into account our impact on the environment and how she provides for us when we care for her. I do think a more 'spiritual' basis to our society would help here - we seem to see science as God and have forgotten the divine in all things. There's a lot to be said for bringing meditation practices, for example, into schools - whilst we obviously resist organised religion in Western societies (fkn Christianity didn't do best job there) we somehow lack that deep empathy and compassion needed to interact with the entire world in a different way. 

Yeah, I agree - we might momentarily change during  or after a disaster, it's not lasting enough. 

Gawd I feel like such a hypocrite as we get our petrol Landrover on the road and fly to the UK. I wish I ruled the world - I'd make it a lot easier for myself NOT to have a guilty footprint. Mandates from above could save us all - but then we have whole other issues about freedom and free will. 

Endless thinking. Thanks for your thoughtful and rational reply to counter my often convoluted thinking. 
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@revisesociology ·
This is quite an interesting video on science and spiritual consciousness...

https://youtu.be/lo0X2ZdElQ4

I'm not against techno solutions, I just don't think they're enough on their own. I actually find a lot of them quite exciting. 

Tech is also the only way you're ever likely to have sustainable flights!

Posted using [Partiko Android](https://partiko.app/referral/revisesociology)
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@abh12345 ·
!ENGAGE 25
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@misterengagement ·
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@steem-ua ·
#### Hi @revisesociology!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your **UA** account score is currently 4.804 which ranks you at **#1452** across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has not changed in the last three days.

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 117 contributions, your post is ranked at **#25**.
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@steem-plus ·
SteemPlus upvote
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@kennyskitchen ·
> *According to a 2019 report 'Climate Change and the American Mind' by Yale's Centre for Climate Change and Communication, there does seem to be a gradual increase in the number of Americans who believe that climate change is man-made*

Well of course there is; the media pounds home this propaganda 24/7, it's in the schools, every celebrity pushes it every chance they get (from their multimillion dollar, small town's worth of electricity using homes... or their private jets), the corporate media (whether "news" or "social") actively hide anything that doesn't agree with the fear-mongering...

If it wasn't for the way that the internet has opened up the realms of independent journalism and having access to old "data" (like how every time the IPCC releases a report, they make the past colder), everyone would believe the lie.

To the extent that humans affect climate (completely unknown, we literally don't even understand how climate works), and the much larger extent that humans do pollute the planet in various ways... this is almost entirely due to governments (US military is the #1 polluter on the planet) and other corporations. Especially when you take into account their intentional geo-engineering schemes, both for military/economic warfare, and simply to push the alarmism required for Agenda 21 to be accepted by the masses.

I've only got a few minutes right now, but I will come back and address this more fully. In the mean time I'd like to point you towards a couple of things if you're interested in hearing what those who question the honesty of government & corporations have to say.

**This highly researched, fully sourced 2-parter I wrote:**
* Part 1: *[GLOBAL COOLING! No, wait... GLOBAL WARMING!! Ah, um... CLIMATE CHANGE!!! Just be afraid & give us more power!](https://steemit.com/informationwar/@kennyskitchen/global-cooling-no-wait-global-warming-ah-um-climate-change)*
* Part 2: *[So, we've seen that most #ClimateChange "science" is complete BS... Why is the agenda being pushed? And by whom?](https://steemit.com/informationwar/@kennyskitchen/so-we-ve-seen-that-most-climatechange-science-is-complete-bs-why-is-the-agenda-being-pushed-and-by-whom)*

**A couple of VERY important videos:**
* [A Compilation of Randall Carlson (a world class geologist) discussing climate, historical MASSIVE climate changes, and how little we know about climate in general](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJD-391JzHs)
* Any of @CorbettReport's many videos breaking down the climate scam:
  * [10 Climate Myths Busted (in 60 seconds!)](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB109lhkAyk)
  * [Climate Change is Unfalsifiable Woo-Woo Pseudoscience](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huKY5DzrcLI)
  * [Orwell's Nightmare: Temperature Adjustments and Climate Change](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlnwhcO5NC0)
  * [Weather is NOT Climate!](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT4133vfTmk)
👍  ,
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@revisesociology ·
Hey thanks for very detailed response, I'll be sure to check all of that out when I get a chance! Never actually come across this line of argument before, looks interesting. 
👍  
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@kennyskitchen · (edited)
My pleasure!

This is actually one of, if not **the** biggest topics where I find myself stopping people to challenge some key beliefs and ask some very relevant questions.

So often in conversation with people that I find knowledgeable & aware on SO many topics, the overly-simplified debate around "climate change" is the E-brake, bringing a screeching halt if those folks are the kind who get emotionally attached to their beliefs, leading to a couple hours of note taking and such if they enjoy the search for truth, wherever it leads.

---

For most of my life, I definitely leaned towards the [deep green](https://deepgreenresistance.org/en/) end of things. Highly anti-capitalist, essentially authoritarian (I definitely had ideas about *"If things were just run like __this__ instead"*), and effectively anti-life.

I spent many bits of my early childhood with my dad, out near the Oregon Coast, spending our time hiking, sitting by rivers, and soaking in nature. I was in the Boy Scouts for most of my childhood, starting with Cub Scouts, through Webelos, finally quitting the summer before freshman year of high school, holding the rank of *Life* (1 away from *Eagle*, the highest rank.) Needless to say that involved a LOT of camping, a lot of time orienteering, a lot of getting to know the land even better... at least in a more *technical* way.

At the same time, I spent most of the first 25 years of my life suffering from serious depression. Addiction was a near-constant, often in the form of video games, movies, books, and caffeine in my youth, slowly evolving to add sex, work, drugs, and alcohol. I didn't realize it until the very end of that time, but I was also highly addicted to processed "food." Insomnia, suicide attempts, and overdosing (especially alcohol poisoning) were all quite common.

So, between that blend of *"Life sucks for me, and it looks like humanity's pretty much fucking things up,"* being fully indoctrinated with the idea that it's somehow OK for one person (more commonly group of people) to force others to behave in a certain way as long as it's the smarter/"better" way, and being reminded constantly how terrible the corporate/colonizer mentality is (Fern Gully, Captain Planet, etc.), AND of course believing that the Earth was overpopulated with humans, I was fully on-board with "Anthropogenic Global Warming", followed by the looming disasters of "Climate Change" when the apocalypse re-branded itself.

By the middle of high school, I had already learned just how *stuck* the system was; I had some teachers intelligent & honest enough to disillusion me to the idea that people "running" things were ever going to make the world better. Between all those years of "American History" class, and the adults in my life all seeming to have an attitude of how *this is just the way things are,* I decided to consciously avoid the *outside world.* September 11th, 2001 was probably the last time I watched anything on the news for a decade, and that's just because they forced us to ALL day at school that day, and the next.

After a reality-shattering experience with *Psilocybe Azurescens* at the end of 2011, followed by a job that gave me access to all the juices & kombucha I could want, and getting my medical marijuana card, I started to be curious about the outside world again. I took to the internet, conversations at dispensaries, and reading tons of online articles. Thanks to the *Zeitgeist* trilogy, *Who Killed The Electric Car* (and its sequel), [*Owned & Operated*](https://vimeo.com/40076518), *Occupied Cascadia,* et al., I realized just how totally hopeless the "system" that humanity has been running for at least the last couple hundred years is. Luckily, at the same time I discovered folks like Peter Joseph, Stefan Molyneux (before he went off the deep end), Jacque Fresco, Charles Eisensten, and many others, who were telling stories of how the world could be different. Finally, people who were speaking and writing about how **this isn't the only way for life to be,** something I knew in my heart, but had only ever found in the Sci-Fi & fantasy of my youth.

Over the next couple years, I ravenously devoured anarchist philosophy, spiritual & social teachings from around the world, and everything I could find about not well known (and some truly suppressed) technologies that I thought had the potential to change everything (3D printing, the concept of open-source, permaculture, etc.)

---

Along the way, something kept bugging me: "Climate Change"

Why was it that whenever people talked about "climate change" they were always just talking about carbon? Why were they never talking about Fukushima (or 3-mile island, chernobyl, or the nuclear waste they regularly just bury underground), The Pacific Trash Island, the *urban heat island effect*, mass deforestation (I watched clear cuts happen to entire small hills here),and so many other things that I learned about in elementary school, and would obviously have at least as big (and often longer-lasting) effect on our environment.

When talking about droughts, why did nobody mention the bottled water plants & centralized sewage & "treatment" systems that all actively remove water from the natural [water cycle](https://pmm.nasa.gov/education/sites/default/files/article_images/Water-Cycle-Art2A.png)?

When talking about cutting emissions, burning less petroleum, reducing waste, why does nobody talk about the military? Amazon? The fact that the average American plate of food has 1400+ miles on it?

Why is CO2, which is absolutely necessary for the life cycle, and which every grower knows makes your plants grow bigger and faster, is somehow **the** enemy? (it's because every human breathes out CO2, which makes every single human part of the problem, and thus in need of control, [reduction](https://youtu.be/JaF-fq2Zn7I?t=270), and [elimination](https://www.corbettreport.com/did-eugenics-fake-its-own-death-questions-for-corbett/).)

Most importantly, why is it that the governments & corporations responsible for everything from nuclear meltdowns to Agent Orange & PCBs, from depleted uranium & forced sterilization, from toxic municipal water to GMO food... are the same people who supposedly have the answers for "climate change?"

Once I realized that the exact same organizations & interests behind the military-industrial complex, the surveillance state, the debt-based fiat currency system, the pharmaceuticals, etc. **are** the organizations behind all of the "solutions" to "climate change," I realized that this was simply a misdirection. A way to use actual harm being done to the ecosystem of which we are a part (for the profit of a few thousand people globally), as a justification for limiting the freedom of everyone else (carbon taxes, like all taxes, don't mean **shit** to billionaires, and rationing doesn't happen to people with private jets/yachts/islands.)

Between the MANY obvious problems I saw affecting the environment not being mentioned by anyone in the "climate change" discussion (or most "environmentalists"), and the fact that the answers all involve more government, more top-down decision making, more wealth disparity

---

### <center>In Summary</center>

Things I think/believe that most environmentalist will agree with:
* Humanity is just one part of a much larger ecosystem, and because our actions affect the rest of that ecosystem, it is our responsibility to reduce the ways in which we cause harm as much as possible. This is just basic biological/survival common sense: the harm we cause to the environment is harm we are directly causing to ourselves, our descendants, and everyone/everything else.
* The idea of a perpetual growth use/waste economy is absolutely idiotic, and even if there were **no** environmental harms caused by it, we should still be moving towards a more logical, reasonable, systems-based approach to things.
* Giant corporations and government agencies tend to lie, either to protect profits, hide the harm they've done, or both. They also both tend not to care even the tiniest bit if their decisions harm one, ten, or a million people... Unless it's going to cost them money/an election.
* We should be moving back towards localized, organic farming as much as possible, as quickly as possible. Between our advances in things like aquaponics & vertical farming, technology totally taken for granted like greenhouses & pH testing, and application of systems theory (via permaculture), we can easily provide healthier food, cheaper, with less waste and less travel, for every single human on the planet.

Questions for you (being anyone who believes that humanity is causing such damage to the ecosystem such that we are on the *precipice* of a full collapse):
* Have you ever heard of [Maurice Strong](https://www.corbettreport.com/meet-maurice-strong-globalist-oiligarch-environmentalist/)?
* Have you read the surveys/papers from which the [97% consensus](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewJ6TI8ccAw) is drawn?
* Are you familiar with the publicly acknowledged, long-running, experiments in geo-engineering that the US and other goverments have been running for decades?
* Are you familiar with the term *[eugenics](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUb2ITS3Vmw&t=204s)*?
* Did you read any of the *ClimateGate* emails? Even just any articles featuring major excerpts from the leaked emails?
* When was the last time that everyone in the news media, the government, and Hollywood celebrities were telling you the same thing... and it was true?
* Do you know how much money Al Gore made off "carbon credits" because of the scare his "documentary" caused?
* Did you know the Earth was in a phase referred to as "little ice age" up into the 1800s?
* Why have [none of the horrific, catastrophic claims come true yet](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR6wds_ly2s), after more decades of alarmists being **sure** that we're just on the edge of full collapse?

---

So... This started as just a simple reply, where I wanted to lay out my shift in understanding about the environment, what the core environmental issues are that we face, and how we can move forward living in harmony with the Earth and all the beings that make it up.

At this point I'm going to make a few tweaks and put it up as a post of its own, but I'll leave the original here in your comments.

---

**EDIT:** [Here's my full post](https://steempeak.com/@kennyskitchen/why-this-lifelong-environmentalist-is-97-sure-that-climate-change-is-a-scam); added some images to break the text walls, hyperlinked up a lot more stuff, and added another 700 words or so :-P
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