Consider the picture below and how it communicates the human condition with respect to fossil fuels and climate change.
Two sweethearts on a lake in a rowboat, with a small dog.
“Oh, look, a lilly,” she says.
He gazes dreamily at the porcelain skin on her cheek, ignoring the water-flower.
Then a light rain begins to fall.
“What should we do?” she asks, raising a palm to feel the raindrops.
He thinks for a while, then replies, “We should proactively transform the global economy to wean it off fossil fuels in a decade. That way, we won’t pervert the global atmosphere, forcing us all to live in a franken-climate. Failing that, we could just hide under the blanket.”
Whether we choose to transform, or hide under the blanket, will determine whether the humans enjoy a bountiful Earth for the Long Future or whether we perish by mid-century as a result of the runaway greenhouse effect, forcing apocalyptic horror on everyone. You, me, all of the living things, everyone.
There is so much work to do, but I like to focus on one part of the equation.
We need to wind up the fossil fuel industry within a decade. Coal, oil, and gas, shut down. The British ended slavery, despite it being a highly profitable mainstay of the economy. We can do the same with fossil fuels. We have to.
The trouble is, the powerful fossil fuel elite will make a mighty-fine effort to stop their ecocidal gravy-train being closed down. This industry wages war against the living systems of our planet, it wages war against the public through misinformation and funding climate denial. This may be uncomfortable truth, but that are at war with us, and we should be at war with them.
But the public is not acting war-like on this issue. This is to say that if we humans are to avert extinction in the near term, we need to ‘get into the war’.
Military strategist, von Clausewitz, in his book, On War, says that the principal decision is whether to trade the certainties of not going to war, with the uncertaintiesof going to war.
The certainties of not going to war with the fossil fuel industry are that they will continue to pump their poison, the consumers will continue to consume it, and we will have human extinction through runaway greenhouse before the end of the century. That’s for sure.
What are the uncertainties of going to war with the fossil fuel industry? Well, we might just win. So there’s that…
Now that we have established that going to war with the fossil fuel industry is in the best interests of the living systems of Earth, what is needed to get this war started?
One thing. We need for the public to have an emotional realization that:
– our planet is dying
– humanity faces extinction unless we make great changes, immediately
– we all need to get into action to avoid this catastrophe
I call this ecophiny – an ecological epiphany – I had mine in my twenties, and I have spent my adult life in action.
Apart from saving the planet and the people on it, ecophiny is a cure-all for cognitive dissonance. If you don’t want climate change and yet you buy petrol, or pay a coal-fired power bill, you will be suffering a disconnect between your knowledge, attitude and behaviour. If you are mindful, this disconnect can be emotionally uncomfortable. Ecophiny, and the action that follows, is a cure for fossil fuel cognitive dissonance.
So, have you had your ecophiny, yet? Are you at war with the fossil fuel industry? What’s it going to take to enlist you? Remember only a small percentage of warriors are front-line troops. There are many roles in a war, most are well behind the front line.
If you are yet to have an ecophiny, go to the (under continual development) ECOPHINY website, click the links, honestly answer the questions, and maybe you will have one.
If that doesn’t work, I can only hope that things don’t get too bad before you do, because it maybe too late to act, by then.