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Climate 'Doomism' is Real. Nay-sayers are Unrealistic.
A recent blog from BBC.com suggests that the surging numbers of people who have given up hope that humans will be able to save themselves from the destruction we have brought to planet Earth are "doomers" and wrong. Yet, critics of doomers offer no substantive evidence to support that conclusion. Sure. They talk about some of the emerging technologies that have some promise of saving humanity from our collective destructive behavior. Sadly, the thing they neglect to address is the lack of willingness on the part of most humans to change in order to save the world as we know it.
Those of us who are "doomers" see the reality that the vast majority of humans, particularly those in the developed world, will not change their behaviors in any meaningful ways. In spite of our knowing about the threat of irreversible climate change for at least 40 years, our freeways are still packed with gas-guzzling vehicles; people still buy the latest and "greatest" cell phones way too often; few people grow any of their own food; very few homes have implemented alternative energy sources (and some fossil fuel based utility companies have successfully erected barriers to homes doing so), or do any kind of substantive conservation program and, politically, right-wing authoritarians who are climate deniers are on the rise globally.
On top of all of that, the science says that we have already passed multiple tipping points that would allow us to save ourselves. Even worse: projecting the notion that "there is still time" only promotes the notion that people can stay safe and comfortable in their old ways. That is fantasy. That is dangerous. That is not at all realistic. We advocate that people change their behavior now because it will have some chance of reducing the catastrophic impact in the future, not because we think it has any chance of stopping the total social collapse that is coming. Additionally, changing behavior now makes those who change immediately more capable of adapting to the crisis that is coming. The changes also make our lives better today.
What so-called "doomers" don't do is pretend the crisis isn't coming. That is a good thing. That is healthy. That is science and reality-based. Frankly, for many people, the crisis is already here. Every year, the numbers of displaced people from fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and the wars resulting from depleting resources continues to grow. Severe impacts have already been felt in the most vulnerable communities--the poor, communities of color.
Denying reality is the real doom in this conversation. Pretending we can continue as we are is the real crisis.