20 November 2009

16 Days - Perhaps It Is a Matter of Belief

I've sometimes found myself teasing deniers about the fact that they don't "believe" in global warming, as if it's a religion that one can choose to believe in or not. (Ironically, many of the deniers would probably tell you they believe in God, quite without the evidence they demand from climate scientists.)

So I was quite fascinated yesterday to hear my husband muse out loud that perhaps the whole global climate change thing IS a matter of belief — it's about whether or not you believe the Earth is sacred.

If we believe that the Earth, and its diversity of life, is sacred, then we won't tolerate any risk to that diversity of life. We won't allow or accept any risk to the planet and its biosphere.

Yet we're doing the exact opposite. It seems the purpose of climate science is to tell us how great a risk we can take with the planet and get away with it.

It's quite evident that we don't hold the Earth — or life itself — as sacred.

Similarly, we are ignoring risks to agriculture, even though we are now an agricultural species. If we believe that our civilization exists because of agriculture, then shouldn't we hold agriculture as sacred? Shouldn't we be taking zero risks with our agricultural systems? If we risk agriculture, we risk our survival.

But we aren't even considering yet the risks we're taking with our food security, and most people still don't view global climate change as a food issue.

We no longer hold as sacred those things that help us survive and keep us alive. We no longer believe the Earth is sacred. So it IS a matter of belief.

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?