Are We Masochistic?

Sometimes I wonder…. We’ve been warned for decades that if we don’t change course, we’re signing ourselves up for massive climate disasters and human suffering — food insecurity, water insecurity, strong hurricanes, heat waves, disease, and more.

The video below features Dr. Mike MacCracken, who in 1982 was presenting what it had been known for decades — that CO2 emissions were causing global warming and were a great concern. Watch the video and I think you’ll get the overall point quite well….

… but don’t you have the point quite well by now? My guess is that you’ve got the big picture. And the above just reinforces what you already know and the urgency of the matter. Nonetheless, manmade global warming and climate change have just accelerated in the 2000s, as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) just reported at the end of last week. Additionally, we are already seeing unprecedented climate disasters and human suffering. The extreme Texas drought of the past year or so has cost farmers approximately $7.6 billion, Texas agronomists reported last week.

So, what’s the deal?

On the one hand, I sometimes wonder if we are just a masochistic species. Of course, not everyone, but enough of us to bring down the rest.

It’s not my #1 guess. In fact, the opposite may be the case — we may be so drawn to pleasure and so averse to suffering that we just overindulge in useless pleasures while not wanting to even think about (let alone deal with) difficult issues that require our attention in order to avoid suffering. This would explain why people are more interested in sitting on Facebook playing mindless games or watching TV or YouTube videos about ridiculous things than learning about how our climate works and how we are totally setting ourselves up for catastrophe.

Of course, there’s one more prominent option. That would be that rich industries central to our contribution to global warming have enough influence over our media and politicians to confuse us and delay action.

Masochistic? Hedonistic? Confused and manipulated? Maybe it’s a combination of them all, but the point is that if we don’t get on a course towards healing, proactive solutions, responsibility, and sharing of correct information, we’re going to mightily screw our children and grandchildren, and who knows how many generations to come…

Image courtesy WMO

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