A new direction – energy wisdom/efficiency discussions must replace implausible political ones
There are certain fundamental rules of civilized behaviour most subscribe to so that we can all just get along. Far be it from me to catalog them all; I’m no poster child and am a remarkably bad dinner guest. Don’t ask. But should I ever find myself in those situations, I know that religion and politics should never be discussed, and I now know that climate change should be added to that list as well. That’s not to denigrate the environment, far from it; it’s simply to point out that the “environmental” discussion has morphed from a green-centric one to the love child of religion and politics, and that it has become toxic.
It has become so toxic that it has trumped the first two, religion and politics, which frankly don’t really matter. If you’re an extremist in one of those fields, at either end of the spectrum, you’ll probably want to kill me for saying that (quite literally, for a bona fide extremist). But it’s true. Your religious beliefs don’t impact your day very much one way or the other, assuming you’re a decent person to start with. You can work side by side with someone whom you might historically have gone to war with over religious differences, but if you manage to discuss anything else in this vast world besides religion, you’ll get along just fine.
Same goes for politics; we can coexist easily enough if we leave that topic alone. It is a bit trickier though; a conversation can cross over into politics quite easily because political beliefs manifest themselves more often in daily conversations – what a government should or should not do, do unions suck or are they the greatest thing ever, etc. But here again, it is possible to coexist with someone even if they are of a moderately different political persuasion, or even a largely different one, if the conversation can be kept away from touchy points.
Climate change has now joined these others on the list of Unspeakables, and this one is the worst, because as a topic it touches everything we do. Taken to the extremes, one side of the debate believes that man-made climate change is dooming the planet, and if you believe that to be true then a corollary is that any CO2 emissions are bad. Yet our lives are nothing if not one big bucket full of emissions-emitting activities, from breathing to work to travel to most leisure activities. We therefore find that climate debates are the worst of the lot, because they cannot be avoided even in the most mundane of discussions, and for either side, the future of humanity is at stake – for those worried about keeping society functioning as we know it, that comes first before emissions, and for those that think climate change will kill us all, corralling emissions trumps everything.
The debate has become tuned to such a fever pitch that it is spiraling into insanity. Sadly, this website has become yet another soldier in the debate, and, as with religion and politics, it is becoming apparent that it is pointless to spend any time in that pit.
Socialists can never be converted to capitalists, and there are rarely “born again” people that truly flip from one side of the spectrum to the other in religions debates. Same goes for climate change. At the end of the day though, no matter what the battlefield looks like – that is, no matter how much pressure there is to reduce emissions and no matter how nobly the other side defends its position – the ebb and flow of humanity will decide it. If three billion people in Asia continue to try to live like westerners, emissions will have a certain trajectory, plus or minus a bit, and that will be that. We will live with the consequences, just as we are living with the consequences of having 7 billion people on earth.
Rather than continuing in that pointless war then, the content of this site is going to be reoriented towards what it was intended to be initially – a “celebration” of the energy we enjoy in our lives, that provides a lot of the world with an unspeakably great standard of living (even in the midst of a coronavirus lockdown), and provides the rest of the world with the means to have one too.
Celebrating energy means using it wisely, and focusing on strategies that are smart and helpful – efficiency, reduced footprints, less waste, less environmental degradation. Not in the name of “fighting climate change”, because that is an unwinnable war, but in the name of, well, more efficiency, reduced footprints, less waste, and less environmental degradation.
There are a million great stories to be told, and the sooner we – the greater population – start thinking in those terms, the sooner we’ll stop wasting energy fighting the climate fight, which has become the worst of the religious and political theatres combined.
Hope you are all well in isolation! Try to frame it right, like the best chance you’ve ever had to meditate or any of that stuff you know will upgrade your persona but you never get to. Don’t forget to stand by each other, call a friend, support small businesses. And of course delight loved ones with copies of “The End of Fossil Fuel Insanity” available at Amazon.ca, Indigo.ca, or Amazon.com