Most of us tell and believe similar stories on the environment, something like the three below. Do they sound familiar?
A while ago some scientists figured out that we’re destroying the planet. Everything I do is bad and I have to stop or they say I’m killing future generations. Every now and then they tell me it’s worse than they said before. There have been some big storms and droughts, but we’ve recovered. Nothing I do makes a difference, but no one else is doing anything either, least of all the people telling me, who seem rich, polluting the most, and aren’t changing either. They seem to want me to feel shame or guilt so I’ll give up things they aren’t. What one person does doesn’t matter, so what I do doesn’t matter. I don’t like feeling miserable so as much as I want to help, I can’t see any better path than to do what I’ve been doing.
Some know a version more like:
Things are terrible and it’s going to fall apart within my lifetime. I can’t believe past generations ignored it for so long and now we have to live with their waste and destruction. Governments and corporations are complicit. We have to change them. I’m doing everything I can—I cut back on meat and may go vegan, I bring bags with me to the store, I’m going to buy an electric car, and I’ll install solar when I can. I don’t actually see it making a difference in the world, but I know it will. Stopping flying or having fewer children is a bit too much, after all the experts aren’t doing that much, and besides, some things I need. Individual actions don’t matter, in fact the big polluters want us to believe individual action is the answer to deflect blame from them. What I do doesn’t matter, we have to change the polluters.
Others know a different one:
Al Gore and the woke social justice warrior crowd are at it again. They want to grow government and tell me what to do. They want power and they’ll tell us stories to try to make us afraid to cede power to them. Even they don’t believe what they say. Look at Gore, telling us not to fly, yet he flies his corporate jet all over the world. If he doesn’t believe what he says, why is he doing it? It must be for the money. He’s clearly getting rich off his scare tactics. Being generous, maybe he doesn’t realize it, but growing the government leads to socialism, communism, and a totalitarian state we can’t stop. The best we can protect ourselves is to exercise our God-given individual freedom, which I will do by living freely, even doing the opposite of what they tell me to to show what I do doesn’t matter to the environment, which is doing just fine anyway.
EDIT: a reader suggested another common story, maybe the most common:
Environment? I heard something about it but not really.
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