Do you feel enraged at people flying private jets to climate conferences?

October 22, 2023 by Joshua
in Leadership, Nature

Flying a private jet to a climate conference seems the height of being out of touch and acting counterproductively.

If you feel that way, have you considered how much of your expenditures pays for extracting, polluting, and depleting? What fraction of your spending goes to filling your gas tank, flying, air conditioning, heating, industrial agriculture, buying things that require pollution to make like packaged food, takeout, houses, cars, nearly all meat, computer chips, and so on?

Since plastic, flying, air conditioning, cars, and artificial fertilizers didn’t exist more than about a century ago, human life requires none of those things. Since people in cultures without those things see those things and choose to resist imperialism, colonialism, and assimilation, humans can thrive without them. Yet most Americans spend most of their income on polluting, depleting activities that accelerate our course toward collapse, paying governments and corporations to do what they say they oppose. We fund the system driving corruption, accelerating pollution. Even poor people buy bottled water and fly when they can.

It’s hard to oppose something when you fund it. It may make one sleep easier at night to blame others, but when we do something that hurts people, just because someone hurts them more doesn’t undo the suffering we cause. Does the existence of mass murder make murder okay? Does someone polluting more than you make polluting smaller amounts okay? How can you influence someone else to do something you haven’t figured out how to influence yourself?

If you do something that kills people and you don’t want to kill people, you have to stop doing that thing. If you think others should stop doing something you do, how can you not stop doing it yourself?

Twenty dollar bill

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