They’re the kind of sentiments that those seriously concerned about climate change impacts and public attitudes have come to fear: Other concerned people in effect opting-out because they just can’t take it anymore.
“I already know what’s happening and about to happen,” columnist Katha Pollitt writes in the liberal magazine blog under the auspices of The Nation magazine. “Reading the fine print is just going to make me feel sadder than I already do, without giving me any action I can take to do more than give me the illusion that I am making a difference.”
Ouch. She notes a number of issues — the Vietnam War, violence against women and children — where “educating and mobilizing the citizenry has begun to transform society …. But climate change is different,” she maintains. “Individual action — even the individual actions of hundreds of thousands of people in concert — won’t be enough,” because, she argues, the issue is just too big, too pervasive, encompasses just too many players and “too profitable …. Too many people are making money out of feeding the insatiable consumer demand for more.”
Pollitt opines that “our poor old Earth would mostly muddle through” if a sweeping range of largely draconian measures were taken, and taken soon. But she isn’t optimistic they will be.
In an Earth Day column pointing to climate change as “the tragedy of the commons for the entire globe,” she says motivations to prompt needed behavioral changes hold little hope, and “the incentives are almost all the other way.” Don’t look to federal and state governments to heed her call … they “are largely industry’s captives.”
“Too many competing interests and no sufficiently powerful international mechanism” to define and enforce a global course of action,” she despairs. “By the time the collective damage is done, it will be too late to undo it.
“I hope I am wrong,” Pollitt concludes, perhaps the only sentence in her column that virtually everyone can agree with.
And, she failed to mention: By the way, have a Happy Earth Day. Have a nice day.