Do we need to brainwash society to stop climate change?
Let’s face it, people are egoistic. Eventually their actions are taken for their own personal good. If this personal good means a strong morale and a sense of responsibility towards the rest of the world, then great. But usually it isn’t. Most people, I believe, are led by much more simple objectives, let it be the desire for goods or for public recognition.
Tonight I attended a panel discussion on climate change, with a lot of smart people in the room and great ideas being brought up. But what the panel failed to remember is that they are by no means an average of the country’s population. Bluntly put, most people don’t give a f*. And even those that do, for what purpose do they care? Is it actually the belief that they can make the world a better place, or is it the desire to gain votes, attention by the public or the selfish desire that their voices need to be heard?
I don’t know and I don’t want to judge, since I am by no means better myself. My friend Ollie was speaking at the panel discussion and I helped him prepare. And while I think he did a great job in explaining his position, amongst these high-ranked speakers, a part of me was jealous of the opportunity he had and I had not. It is hard for me to remember myself that certain things are outside my area of influence. Even if he wouldn’t have been at the panel, there was no way I could have taken his place. But was in my area of responsibility and what I did well was to prepare him for the event. I did my share and put my talents in use, only not in the spotlight where egoistic me would have enjoyed to be. And yes, this feeling is part of the reason why I am starting this blog. To be honest about the way I feel on climate change an environmentalism. It’s not all hugging trees and planting flowers. It’s egos, personalities and internal conflicts as well.
Back to brainwashing. Looking at the course of history, I don’t believe in there being any timeframe where individual human action was not led by egoistic motives. The outcomes differed due to different values and circumstances. So if we cannot stop egoism, what we can do is utilize it. If we only make people feel that the most egoistic thing they can do is stop climate change, they will by all means do it.
How are we going to achieve this? I don’t know yet. But once I find the answer I’ll let you know.