We’re not going to save the planet…
…because, in geological timescales, the earth is quite capable of looking after itself. The question is whether the human race is part of the equation at that time.
No, the reason why we have the big climate change jamboree in Paris is to protect the human race. Drought, extreme weather, sea level rise, ocean acidification, mass migration etc will all have massive impacts on us and our way of life.
And, with my green jujitsu cap on, I think we should emphasise potential human impacts over, say, the plight of the polar bear. Let’s drop talk of “destroying our planet” and talk about coastal cities likely to get deluged.
And before I get screamed at by the green lobby, yes it is selfish, but frankly we’re not talking to you. We’re talking to the people for whom ‘the environment’ isn’t on their radar. We need to appeal to the congregation, not the choir.
If we are going to ask people to radically change behaviour, we need to persuade them of two things:
1. The risk of ‘do nothing’ is massive;
2. The low carbon alternative is not (much of) a sacrifice, but a desirable outcome.
While everybody is altruistic, when push comes to shove, they’re going to ask “what’s in it for me?” Let’s focus on answering that question.