What We Think About- Notes, Comments
P4. “…the level of concern among both laypeople and politicians has actually been decreasing-especially in many wealthy countries- over the last two decades.” Even with improving technology and data presented in support of anthropogenic climate change, people are choosing to ignore it.
P28. “This view may seem to imply that genetic forces will continue to drive humans farther and farther down the road to destroying humans… Humans are incapable of caring for the more-than-human, and rarely for more than our own little in-group. Our competitive old mind will drive us to collapse, to a destroyed world… until mere, meager survival of the self and offspring becomes the only rule.”
P29. “It’s about ‘them’, not ‘us’.” This is the mentality that has contributed to the extent of the climate crisis.
P45. “People are prone to exaggerate risks that are spectacular, new and unfamiliar, personified, beyond personal control, much discussed, immediate, and sudden as well as those that affect them personally and are imposed by a clear enemy.”
P69. “When provocative information comes our way, we employ self-justification to keep our attitudes aligned within ourselves and with significant others.” An extreme form of “peer pressure”?
P90. “A solution works so much better when people want it, like it, love it rather than when they implement it by duty, guilt, rule, or fear of punishment. If we define ourselves in a fight against the others, and a desperate one, those others will start fighting back desperately.”
P111. “Fear and loss don’t sell. Uncertainty kills determination. Let’s therefore try shifting toward frames that support the issue rather than backfire. New frames are now emerging that are more conducive to action. We can begin to talk about climate in terms of insurance, health, security, preparedness, and, most of all, opportunity.”
P141. “When someone manages to describe a society that a strong majority of us long to live in, then things can start to happen, and happen fast. But if we have no idea of where we’re heading, we certainly will end up somewhere else.”
P167. “Yet the air isn’t just what we breathe into our lungs, briefly visiting before we exhale it. It is also our primary link to the world. It fully envelopes us, from the soles of our feet to each hair on the top of our head, from the day we draw our first breath to beyond our death. It holds us gently, with a benign embrace without which our bodies would fall apart. To be born is to enter the air. To be is to be in the air.”
P190. “Today, however, it is not just about human afflictions. Much of nature is sick, too.”
P197. “Our traditional Western individualistic ideas have made it difficult to incorporate aspects of family and nature into the very notion of self. But new ways to express this intuition of a more intimate relationship are being shaped through concepts of an ecological Self or an ecological identity.”
P215. “The shift to realizing that we’re deeply embedded in this living air is the deep reframing for climate communication. I hardly see anyone in today’s climate discourse speaking of air as something enchanted, beautiful, and sacred- except maybe on the fringes of society, often dismissed as crazies. But unless we bring in this ancient aspect, the awe for the air, we’ll lose something central and powerful- a sense of the sacred that can be critical for motivating us in the highly needed transformation, that makes climate into something very near, no longer just distant, abstract, technical, chemical.”