AwN | Recently I had a discussion on the interesting phenomena of intellectual, or ethical whack-a-mole. I'm sure many of my readers are in a similar position to me that you often find yourself talking about things that people would rather not hear. Whether they order a tuna sub and you start on about mercury or overfished tuna, or whether or not it is really a beneficial use of oil to fly to Cancun for drinks. In general people don't mind instant gratification in exchange for cash but are completely turned off by the extrapolation of what they just did onto the environment.
I often watch people talk out of two sides of their mouth in the very same conversation. On one side I hear about Global Warming doom and gloom (everyone I know gets mad if I call any of it into question), how people need to change their habits, and someone else needs to come up with some save all solution, and then moments later they will lambast myself for arguing that people need to use less oil, that it is improper to plough over a forest for the purpose of a lawn, and that driving 60 miles to work is not how we will live in the future.
There are an absurd number of people afraid to think about what they are doing.
It is normal in human history, I have no doubt, for people to ignore the uncomfortable thoughts that their society presents. There is an absurd percentage of people who are afraid to actually think about what they are doing, and even the people who are capable and may engage in thought about it are usually too paralyzed, selfish, or time constrained to act on their realizations or information.
Most of us encounter this in our daily life. You run yourself ragged for the requirements of economy and then you come to a point where you have some free time. By compulsion you feel this free time is to be truly free, and not necessarily constrained by the thought of the Earth or what it can provide. We often choose to not be constrained by eating a healthy diet or signing some fairly useless petition to save some species we have never even seen. It is easy to burn out on doing the right thing, and instead just sit back and ride the wave.
Cerebrally the best of us know what needs to be done, the average of us could put their hands to work on what needs to be done, and the below average could simply look up what needs to be done and work with others to do it, but we don't because television and microwaved hot dogs are easier. Thoughts of "Climate Change" interest us as someone else's problem, but make hint that they might be our own problems, creations of our own extravagance and quickly people resort to shutting off their brains or lashing out at the presenter of information. Perhaps this is why people waste their time with politics instead. We can sit around, not doing a single useful thing, demand others do it for us (solve problems make changes), and not have to worry about that "civil servant" telling us the truth. No politician is going to stand up and tell you climate change is your fault, instead they will tell you how they are going to make laws that will make it simply go away. If they do blame people for their over indulgence they will not be elected, but if they get elected they will not be able to make laws that change anything 9 times out of 10. You will hear a lot about green energy, but where do you think the remainder of the oil will end up? I tell you for sure it is the military -- and every last drop will burn if need be.
When you encounter the below average, those who never really thought to question the origin of their hot dog, you find yourself rebutted immediately and without prejudice despite the fact that you have information that would sicken the other person. If you are close with them, or otherwise have their interest, you may be able to whack the mole into its hole but the distraction of the other moles popping up out of other holes will steal your attention. By the time you make any progress with all the other moles in all the other holes you find that your original target having given up hot dogs for three days, is back out of his hole eating a hot dog covered in GMO wheat and corn syrup ketchup.
Don't be the Mole, Be the Whacker
I don't mean to say that someone, anyone, me or otherwise has all the correct information, and everyone else is stupid; on the contrary, I want everyone to be courageous and face the truth whether it is as they believe it or not. I am just as sure to make the errors in judgement as anyone. The difference is in aspiration, and the willingness to adapt. How high do you aspire? Will you adopt new information, when it presents itself from a reliable source, and seems realistic? Don't be afraid to relapse into ignorance and return to where you know that you belong. The difference is in knowing the choice and choosing to be the whacker and not the mole. The planet and its people need to be shown a true path to a better future, and simply being a mole is for the politicians, not for the citizens. The citizens need to make the conscious decision to seek truth above what they already know.