Green Spot: Why is Everyone So Calm?

Have you ever noticed something really weird about us?  I know one that drives me a little crazy trying to understand.  It’s the fact we are so calm in the face of a the destruction of the planet.  I mean there is huge amounts of ice falling off the Antarctic, species going extinct every year and we do nothing.  In fact when faced with that knowledge we are calm.

No one is losing their heads, no falling governments, riots or even people fainting.  In fact after watching someone read a piece of news like that you can’t even tell they have read something like that.  Are we not rational beings?  Can we not put two and two together and see if the world stops working they way it is suppose to that will be bad for us as a species at some point?  I’m going to assume that we we have the capacity to understand this, so what gives?

Some people think we have just heard too much of news like that and we have grown insensitive to it.  I disagree we have never reacted in horror once at what is going on.  It is something else.  I think it is a cultural myth that is keeping us from reacting to the news in the expected emotional way.

I think the belief that we are seperate from nature is the problem.  There is man and our little sub-world and then there is nature which is the stuff that surrounds our cities.  In our minds they are seperate and distict.  At least at the belief level.  So if large amounts of ice fall off the Antarctic, that’s nature’s problem and it doesn’t effect us.  Our cities are still standing, I’m still doing the same job and eating the same food.  Our sub-world is in tact.

The problem with this concept is we walk around with blinders on to the problems until it is too late.  Only after a problem has gotten so big that it crosses over to our sub-world do we react to it.  Even then as long is it isn’t happening in our backyards we are likely to ignore it.  So by the time these issues collectively touch every city on the planet, it will be too late.  We ourselves will be the endangered species. It may not happen your lifetime, but it will happen.

So what’s the solution?  It’s easy said than done: we are nature.  We are part of this process and we will either learn to live sustainability on this planet or die as a species.  That’s it.  There are no other long term outcomes.  Given the strakness of the reality, I don’t blame people for believing in the myth.  No one wants to believe they are responible, even in part, for the destruction of mankind.  Even if it is true.

Well that’s my thoughts on why we are all so calm.  Do you have a theory?  If so please share.

8 thoughts on “Green Spot: Why is Everyone So Calm?”

  1. “I mean there is huge amounts of ice falling off the Antarctic.”

    As has happened throughout history far before environmentalism even existed.

    “species going extinct every year and we do nothing”

    How many species exactly have gone extinct that are not a direct result of hunting/killing? How many in proportion to all that have gone extinct that can not be directly attributed to human activities since the earth began?

    . . .

    To think that we are large enough to control climate to the point that it will cause “destruction of the planet” is simply arrogant.

    The only real solution is to ban reproduction of humans. Plain and simple. No matter how many people there are, we will impact the environment around us.

    Plus, when you see things like this graph, , you realize what the IPCC is spouting is obviously not correct.

    Quick question, exactly what is the ‘ideal’ amount of CO2 in the atmosphere? What is the ‘ideal’ temperature of the world? Just how much of the warming observed in the last 100 years is natural and how much is caused by human activity and/or measurement error? These are simple question that I can never seem to find answers to.

  2. I agree somewhat with the poster above. While environmental degretation and extinction of species have been going on for a long time, the time in which it’s sped up has increased, and I believe it’s directly related to human population.
    I had a friend who had this radical idea: all humans were to be sterilized at birth. There would then be controlled selective reproduction. It sounded like something out of Brave New World but short of a major world war or contagion outbreak, it would be a reliable way to curb population.

    Either that, or we go the sci fi route and colonize the moon and mars and other planets. Which we are not nearly at the technology level to acheive yet.

    These thoughts make me sad and have been part of my thought process on whether or not to have children.

  3. My theory.

    The vast majority of people live in a world, one that is a lot simplier than yours. They spend their time thinking very simple things…things like lottery tickets, large screen TVs and sports games on TV etc. Only the minority ever think about things like ice melting on the other end of the world. Its not that they don’t care…they are just occupied with other thoughts.

    Or, maybe they are not convinced there is a real problem. Let’s face it…we can’t forecast the weather next month so why would anyone believe anyone can forecast global warming?

  4. Traciatim,

    Oh I agree limiting human population is the key, but no one wants to do the cut into their profits by stop producing so much food.

    It’s strange we haven’t had your questions answered yet. I think the short answer is we don’t know.


    Sterilized at birth?! Why be so complicated? Just freeze food production world wide at it’s current level. It will halt the population growth. After all people aren’t made of moon beans and are delivered by storks.


    Mmm, I have to disagree myself. It’s like trying to blame ‘human nature’ for everything which to me is just an excuse. I’m proactively save for my retirement and plan my suppers hours or days before I eat them. So why can’t we expand that application?


    Actually that’s a fairly good theory. I rather like it, it explains things to a degree.

    Oh, don’t get me started on forecasting. I’ve done sales forecasts which are like pulling numbers out of thin air.


  5. Not sure if anyone watched the Discovery Channel last night – it was their “Doomsday” special which was very interesting. To your point Tim, food production might be halting on its own – and yes this will halt population growth but will also first have the consequences of mass starvation, famine, and war. Only the super rich will be able to ride it out as they will hoard most of the resources.

  6. Mintycake,

    Sorry I missed that one. As to your point, I disagree. Those consequences are already happening. So halting production won’t cause them, it might cause a minor increase on a world wide scale, but in the long run it’s better than increasing the population. Wait until there are 12 billion of us and see what kinds of wars and famine we have then. It will make today’s set look like child’s play.


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