July 13, 2019

What Is Your Level Of Concern?



With all the recent reports on the state of the planet, I often wonder how concerned people are about all the unintended consequences to our brutal capitalist system, and our part in it as supporters through our consumeristic activities.

In my experience, the level of public concern ranges from totally concerned and feeling a sense of impending doom, to totally lacking concern due to a total lack of awareness of the enormity of our challenges.

There is one group I know of that is so concerned that the word is included in their name. That would be the Union of Concerned Scientists

Since 1969 they have been fulfilling their motto: "Science for a healthy planet, and a safer world." Their 200,000 strong membership consists of both private citizens and professional scientists, and they are one of the best hopes we have for turning this thing around.

What is this group of intelligent and aware people concerned about? Here is a partial list:



  1. nuclear weapons/nuclear war
  2. climate change
  3. government interference in the scientific process
  4. clean energy
  5. toxic waste
  6. nuclear energy
  7. GMO foods
  8. antibiotics in animal feed causing resistance in humans
  9. consumerism



Yup, that is a partial list. There are so many things to be concerned about these days that it makes me wonder one thing.

When will the "Union of Concerned Scientists" be changing their name to the "Union of Very Concerned Scientists", or "Gravely Concerned", or "Seriously Concerned", or "Super-Duper Concerned"?

What, exactly, is their true level of concern in 2019, after a full 50 years of being simply concerned? Perhaps it is time for a name change to reflect the new reality in which things are changing faster and faster, and may require a new concern level.

If at their conception in 1969 they considered themselves to be "concerned", then surely by now they must be "Shitting Their Pants" concerned.

I know I am currently at "Majorly Concerned", and that is subject to an upgrade at any given moment, perhaps to "Wickedly Concerned", or "Unbelievably Concerned".

How concerned do you think the scientists should be?






10 comments:

  1. Anonymous7/13/2019

    The Guardian has changed it's editorial policy and now calls global warming - global heating and refers to the climate crisis. A go slow anxiety is starting to take hold in the UK with the rise of extinction rebellion - although they still don't seem to make the connection between global heating and animal agriculture. There was a recent program on plastics on the BBC etc.

    There are some obvious places to start with regard to solutions:

    Reduce animal agriculture.
    Plant trees to suck up carbon - billions please.
    Heavily subsidise public transport.
    Reduce general consumption.

    Peace,
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As you point out, there are many solutions that we could implement immediately. Many will require us to dramatically alter our lives, but there are historical examples where we have done similar things.

      We can do it again.

      Delete
  2. I had to laugh at the cartoon. Years ago when I wanted to be a big fish I was on several boards for the school district. I watched them all argue about the placement of words (for weeks) in mission statements. (those were the thing back then) I realized one day while I was sitting through yet another boring meeting that I was doing nothing to help the kids in the district. So I quit every board and went to work in the music and drama programs. Spent 30 years and touched many lives. I swear administrators and politicians can waste more time on proper verbage than anyone.

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    Replies
    1. What a wonderful way to help kids - through music and drama. Awesome.

      The way language is used these days is quite subversive. I think a healthy way to start is to not believe anything your read or hear, and take it from there.

      I ask myself, "does it make sense?". Usually, it doesn't.

      Delete
  3. "Close to Panic" concerned is where I would place myself. It's to the point when someone announces they are having a baby, my fist reaction is "Are You Out Of Your Mind?" Do they not see what the future will be for this offspring? Why would you do that to anyone?

    All around me I see that the majority of people either don't know, don't believe or don't care about where we are headed. They go own buying bigger, better, more all the while denying that anything is amiss. Afraid I don't hold out much hope. All I can do is my own little part and hope that others will do there part and maybe we can make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People do like having babies, but I wonder about the motives of those having them. It is beginning to seem kind of selfish. Often it is accidental, like we don't know how they are made or something.

      It does seem like there are a lot of people carrying on as if nothing is happening. However, the tide has finally turned, and there is a growing awareness of the challenges ahead of us. Whether or not this translates into meaningful lifestyle changes remains to be seen.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous7/15/2019

      Marla, I am with you! I am nearing the end of my baby-making years; I never made one and never will. But several friends are having little ones and I wonder if they have even glimpsed at what the planet will be like for their precious children. It is truly frightening.
      But as long as the sky is still blue, there is food on the grocer's shelves, there are iPhones and other "needs" to buy, cruises to take, and careers to chase, I don't think it bothers them in the least. I think that it is only when these things start to disappear that people will realize they have been marching down a dark path.
      My plan: to walk, and enjoy, the light path. I have no idea if it will make the big difference, but I must do it anyway. Refuse, reduce, reuse, then recycle. Eat little meant. Compost. Continue being childfree. Drive my hybrid and do it mindfully, Be aware of climate reality, but not paralyzed by it. And VOTE!!! Note: I vote in every election, local and federal...and with my dollars. Glad to (virtually) know you all and read your encouraging thoughts.
      -Erin

      Delete
    3. Anonymous7/16/2019

      I'm also close to panic and I cannot understand how everyone isn't feeling the same. And I have the same response whenever I hear about another baby being born. My husband and I stopped at one child over ten years ago, partly because we were worried about climte change. I hoped I could keep one child safe, but more than that? Also, as people in North American, we have a much greater environmental impact than people in other countries, so if anyone should work on lowering their population, it's us. There seems to be a huge disconnect between what we should all know is happening and the choices people make.

      My family lives a very simple life. This allows me to homeschool our child, and my husband to have a job with lots of time off. We're trying to enjoy everyday with each other and hope the future is brighter than we fear.

      -Kate

      Delete
  4. Anonymous7/15/2019

    I have been teaching/preaching about these issues for just over fifty years now and the reaction really hasn't changed much--generally a sad shake of the head and something like, "Yes, it's really awful isn't it?" I have a Facebook account on which I have stopped posting anything to do with climate change, the perils of the petrochemical industry, the proliferation of plastics, etc. because every time I got a sad emoji response I wanted to reach through the screen and throttle someone! Sadly, the general public hasn't been inconvenienced enough yet for any of it to be meaningful to them. Rant over. Mela

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  5. Anonymous7/17/2019

    Here in Australia we are living in a climate emergency right now, due to severe ongoing drought. One of the reasons I have stayed in my town is because we had enough water to support double our population. This is all good, until someone else doesn't have enough and we have to give them some (which has just happened).

    We are no longer allowed to hand water our garden and a stringent water use limit is about to be imposed on each household. When you can no longer grow your own food you know you are in deep trouble. There is less than one year's water supply left and no end in sight to the drought.

    Every town and country will experience climate change differently, but for us on this naturally very dry continent, water is our biggest issue (oh, and let's not forget the devastating bush fires and floods that are becoming much more frequent in other parts of the country.) The best advice I can give anyone is to be debt-free and to be prepared to be independent. For us this means a huge outlay on water tanks - I would imagine around AUD$8000 by the time they are installed and plumbed in - which will allow us to keep growing food. The cost of food here is much higher than in other countries and the cost of fresh food is mind blowing. How does a small cauliflower or cabbage sound at $9? The only reason we can afford to get the tanks is that we have no consumer debt and live frugally. I saw this coming years ago, but I have to say now that it is actually happening it is very sobering. Unfortunately most people don't react until there is a crisis, and I think the blessing in the current situation is that people can no longer ignore climate change and fail to take action. I noticed lately that many more people are getting around on foot, many more homes now have solar power etc...You have to notice these things or you just cannot cope!

    Madeleine

    PS and of course living in the country there is a huge economic impact of drought that flows to all of us even if we are not farmers. Business is eerily quiet, and again having no debt means we can weather this lean period.

    ReplyDelete

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