Here is a list of specious, fatuous, self-serving beliefs driving behavior degrading the environment. We’ve all used some to justify inaction. If you find yourself using one, you’re only fooling yourself.
I won’t show why they don’t work. You can figure them out. Then get over them and act.
Our minds don’t look for logic. They look for any excuse they can to justify the conclusions they want. Now you know if you stumble on these would-be justifications, not to accept them.
If I act but no one else does then what I do won’t make a difference.
What one person does—individual action— doesn’t matter.
These small things are too small to matter. These big ones take too much work.
Making things more efficient will solve the problem.
Emotional reactions like kicking any habit—sugar, heroin, gambling, etc. Fear, not considering past the withdrawal stage, withdrawing internally, disengaging from community.
Others should change first.
Stewardship and sustainability are like deprivation, sacrifice, burdens, chores.
Government and corporations should act first.
The magnitude of what I do first is the main measure.
If it’s not big enough to change the world, it’s not worth doing.
It has to scale bigger than this.
Malthus was wrong.
It hurts jobs or the economy (rich people say this one a lot).
Maybe I shouldn’t in general, but just this once it’s worth it (then does it over and over).
Family or work trump all other considerations (not considering that it will help those things).
If we don’t grow or innovate as much as possible, we’ll return to the stone age.
If we don’t do everything we can to reach the Moon and Mars, an asteroid may destroy us.
I can’t change my values.
Stop telling me what to do.
Nuclear or some other technology will save us.
We need to hit rock bottom or suffer terribly to feel motivated to act (a global pandemic isn’t enough).
Other issues—the next election or whatever is in the headlines—is more important.
It’s not the right time.
I’m just trying to live and let live. I’m not hurting anyone. I appreciate the environment is important to you. It’s just not my issue.
I like steak and big cars.
I don’t know enough yet. Soon I’ll learn more or raise my consciousness and then I’ll act.
We’ve never been able to stop or reverse a technology before. We just have to accept it and try to solve its unintended side-effects.
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