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Individualism and the Climate Crisis: Climate Change Denial

Individualism and the Climate Crisis: Climate Change Denial
Individualism and the climate crisis
How has individualism played a role in the evolving climate crisis?


We live in a society where individualism has consumed and plagues the way we think, act and believe in something like the climate crisis. Often individuals don’t take an issue seriously and do not believe the gravity of something unless they are directly and presently affected by it. This way of thinking cannot continue if we are to combat the evolving climate crisis. Addressing the impacts of the environmental crisis relies on a collective effort. The idea that if an issue does not directly impact me, therefore, I do not need to pay attention cannot proceed. We live on one earth and therefore bare collective responsibility towards it. No human life is more valuable than another; in the end, we all will face the damage of climate change. 


The challenges we face as a society due to climate change are undeniable. These challenges concern past, current, and future environmental pollution and emissions of Greenhouse gases. We all bear individual responsibility for the way we treat our earth, and our consuming behavior is something that we should be accountable for. However, climate change poses a profound moral dilemma because it concerns a problem caused by those who consume and acquire the most but whose consequences will be inflicted on those most deprived. We can only view this crisis as one to be approached by shared obligation. It is important to note that while one’s actions are essential to implement substantial change, these actions must be reflected within a community and global scale. However, acknowledging first that there is a problem is excellent! We cannot make any change with those denying there is a problem to begin with. 


We can all move past and inform those consumed by individualism who believe climate change is not a valid crisis or concern. The process of any adequate change and meaningful reform begins with having essential conversations like this. We must start by addressing the real-time damage that climate change is causing to the things we hold and cherish most. Alongside Greenpeace actress, political activists, and environmentalist Jane Fonda has put together a guide that helps you equip yourself with the knowledge and information to communicate with climate deniers. They have broken the guide up by common climate change myths and how to respond to those myths. Below is a list of some of the myths within the guide. That explains how to address those who tend to use these ideas to defend their denial of the global crisis we face. 

individualism and the climate crisis

Myth 1: Climate Change is fake news! What’s your evidence?

One of the most common myths and conversations starts around this topic. A simple answer would be to look around and see the evidence everywhere around you. Whether the magnitude of this evidence is large or small, it is valid. 


Myth 2: Even if it’s real, humans didn’t cause it.

Where to even begin with this one!  The science is all there, and this isn’t a new topic; the evidence has been around for the last 40 years! Is it not humans who are burning fossil fuels and causing the urgency to address the climate emergency? 


Myth 3: You’re just trying to take our jobs away.

While this is a sensitive topic to most individuals and is why most are reluctant to have a serious conversation about the climate crisis, climate reform’s very premise is to create jobs without costing us our planet. With climate reform, we can create millions of jobs that protect our earth and advocate for environmental justice within communities most impacted simultaneously. 


Myth 6: The economy won’t be able to handle all the lost fossil fuel jobs.

The transition isn’t something that occurs overnight. A start would be banning fossil fuel expansion and then beginning the gradual transition off fossil fuels until we end our dependence on fossil fuels. Investing in renewable energy and expanding that sector will provide more jobs per dollar spent than the fossil fuel industry. Wouldn’t it be nice to know these jobs will be cleaner, safer, and better for everyone’s well being? 


Myth 15: Can’t people just move if sea levels rise?

Where to? You realise that will cost money, and not everyone has the resources and means to pack up and relocate. Major cities around the world will be abandoned. 

Ultimately, any progress forward involves shared actions and reform. We all hold the responsibility to see that the environmental crisis is addressed and meaningful initiatives are put in place. To begin would be to acknowledge the issue and the magnitude of it. Simply informing those around you and helping them understand their role to play in this issue is a step in the right direction. Change does not occur overnight, but actions like having a meaningful conversation of acknowledging the problem do so much more than you could imagine.

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