Have you thought about who is leading in the area of climate research?
I don’t mean who is doing the most research or the best research or publishing the most. I mean from a leadership perspective: who is leading people, setting direction, creating a vision, and motivating others to act toward a goal?
What is the goal of climate research if not to figure out how to set policy for how people act in ways that affect the greenhouse effect?
In the United States, we are not lowering our emissions overall. We’re increasing them. What research scientists are doing, it’s not resulting in leading people.
On the contrary, if you believe that the science behind global warming is conclusive enough to act and we aren’t acting, then scientists aren’t leading. On the contrary, if they could influence others and they aren’t because they’re doing research on something already conclusive, then the people motivating them to keep doing that research are leading them.
Who is actually leading
The people influencing scientists to keep researching to establish results that are already conclusive are the Koch brothers and their peers, including Donald Trump.
By influencing scientists to produce data to convince them of something they’ll never be convinced of, they are leading the scientific community, not the other way around.
You can tell who is leading whom by the emissions. Scientists aren’t leading. They’re following others on a wild goose chase.
Why point out who is leading?
My point isn’t to put anyone down, but to show what’s happening so people who believe global warming is a problem we can and should fix can solve the problems at hand, not the problems we think are there. In particular, convincing people who will never be convinced of something is a waste of time. The problem isn’t that we don’t have enough data.
The problem is that people looking to protect the environment aren’t considering the emotions and motivations of the people they want to influence.
People who find the evidence that we are warming the globe and risking damaging human culture and population compelling aren’t thinking of how to lead. I’ll err on the side of speaking too bluntly, but roughly speaking, they’re venting, arguing, and telling people what to do more than leading.
Either scientists should learn leadership skills if they want to use they information they know best to lead others or we should look to people who are skilled in leadership to lead.
Realizing who was leading motivated me to create my Leadership and the Environment podcast.
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