Why are we dragging our feet on doing something about climate change? A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk
Being a Futurist can be an intensely frustrating adventure. You're looking at the data for the next 3-5 years and see why we must act now on climate change. China, Germany, Kenya, Finland, Sweden, Morocco, the UK, South Africa and a host of other countries are making big moves on this. But the United States, 4% of the world's population but putting out 25% of the world's carbon emissions, is essentially sitting on the sidelines watching the world go by. Of course, that doesn't apply to everyone in the States. There are great efforts being made by private and public organizations seeking to get us organized and focused on this issue. But collectively, we're stuck. Why? Some would like to blame this on the government, but the reality is that there is some disconnect in the everyday population. Here are four reasons why that is.....
Slios. There are so many causes and issues we're seeking to address. From mayoral elections, to school board issues to racism to student debt. All of these things are critically important, but they mean nothing if our food, water and air infrastructures break down due to droughts, floods, extreme weather and heatwaves. Suggestion: All of these pressing issues must be folded into the climate change agenda to save the future. We should demand the mayoral candidate have a climate change plan if they want to be elected. We can drill down on racism by creating green jobs in communities of color that transform the community into smart neighborhoods, etc.
We think it's too far away. Any discussions that say the real effects of climate change will be felt in our grandchildren's lifetime need only read the latest headlines about bomb cycles, historic flooding, intense hurricanes, melting glaciers and deadly heatwaves all over the world right now. Suggestion: Keep daily weather developments at the top of conversations you have with friends and family. There is some kind of weather occurrence almost every day in the news that can be attributed to climate change. Don't let others put this conversation in the "I'll be dead and gone" ghetto.
"I'm just trying to survive." Fair enough. That's a real challenge in communities of color and other disenfranchised groups. But let me offer another take. Suggestion: If there was ever a time to break from the survival mode of living into a thriving one, it would be in re-imagining the way forward and using climate change as a platform to create jobs, redevelop communities and leverage innovation. The Chinese and the Germans are certainly doing it. To mitigate climate change, we need all shoulders at the wheel. That means bringing in resources to create opportunities.
We don't know what to do and are overwhelmed. That is a legitimate argument. Popular media has been defining the challenge over the past few years, but now it's time to lay out things the average person can do in their day to day lives to help. Suggestion: In a couple of weeks, I'll be starting a video series, produced with the help of CBSNews4 called Change: The Subject. It will provide real world, tangible, everyday things you can do to help mitigate climate change. Stay with me. I'll have more information next week.
Chet W. Sisk is an author and one of the world's leading Social Futurists. He is also expert on the current world paradigm shift. Find out more about him and the LEAD Global Team at www.leadtheshift.com or you can write him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org