Cynics to the left of me, cynics to the right…
I have been musing this week that I often come up against two quite different, but in some ways similar entrenched mindsets: the right-wing view that sustainability/climate change is all lefty guff, the left-wing view that any attempt by big business to address sustainability is simply top-cover for greed.
To the right, I say the scientific evidence is clear (if only they’d give scientists more credence than stuff they’ve read on the internet), to the left, I say, there’s nothing virtuous about standing on moral high ground declaring your own virtue. Both are recipes for inaction when action is clearly what we need.
But, having said that, cynicism has a very important role to play – it keeps us straight. Despite my worldview being firmly in the middle ground, and what I call pragmatic environmentalism, I deliberately seek out views from left and right (on sustainability or otherwise) to challenge my own beliefs.
It’s worth trying – provided you can find the voices of reason from left and right (or deep green/anti-environmentalism if you prefer) rather than the confirmation bias of the respective echo chambers. It may challenge your own views and it gives you a perspective on the worldview of people you may be struggling to bring on board.