Debunking The Climate Change Fable

little boy cried wolf- image

Little Boy Who Cried Wolf. Image credit:Straightedge Marketing.

Generations of English-speaking parents have recited fables to teach their children about life. I suppose there are equivalent fables in other languages. Ones I remember the most are "The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf" (apropos for today's journalists and bloggers who may be prone to a single-minded focus on climate catastrophe), and "Chicken Little" (widely-used in the 80's to characterize the over-reaction to environmental hazards).

Climate change is no fable for scientists. Probably half of elected officials get it. Looks as if some evangelical Christians also understand the meaning. The critical audience left to convince, the largest segment of population - overlooked at our own danger - are those who are willing to entertain the possibility that something truly bad is happening with climate, and that human behavior may be - just may be - a contributing factor. Let's focus on them for a minute. Americans hold onto a broadcast media-created fable that climate change poses no real risk.
Whether they are party registered loyalists, or independents, hardly matters, really. What counts most now is to avoid alienating them with a constant din of fearful climate catastrophe predictions - doom for which no solution is offered save to call for more government help. Pairing the message of pending danger with personal and political empowerment and even corporate and religious empowerment will be more successful at debunking the media-created fable.

The parallel messages of personal responsibility and lifestyle.
Inspiration and leadership from government, I know, are still lacking. While holding our national leaders accountable, however, we need also to take some personal responsibility. See Get Ready For Winter Grasshopper: Fuel Oil; Natural Gas; Food; And Electricity Prices Set To Increase.

The message of personal responsibility, and even the parallel of 'carbon frugality' as a follow on to fiscal conservatism, is one that political moderates are more likely to accept and remember. Don't be misled by big sentences. Saving money should lead to emission cuts and have a payback period that makes it worthwhile - even after the stimulus package is over.

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Chicken Little, circa 2006