Why Nobody Does Anything About Climate Change, As Explained by The Onion


Photo: out of ideas via Flickr/CC BY

Leave it to the nation's premier fake newspaper to pen the best real article on climate change I've read in weeks. Unless you're one of these people, you know the Onion's schtick pretty well by now (satirical, zeitgeist-skewering news stories often pegged to current events). So you'll probably know what to expect from an article entitled "We Need To Do More When It Comes To Having Brief, Panicked Thoughts About Climate Change"...A snippet:

The 20 hottest years on record have all taken place in the past quarter century. The resulting floods, wildfires, and heat waves have all had deadly consequences, and if we don't reduce carbon emissions immediately, humanity faces bleak prospects. We can no longer ignore this issue. Beginning today, we must all do more when it comes to our brief and panicked thoughts about climate change.

Indeed, if there was ever a time when a desperate call to take action against global warming should race through our heads as we lie in bed and stare at the ceiling, that time is now.

Many well-intentioned people will take 20 seconds out of their week to consider the consequences of the lifestyle they've chosen, perhaps contemplating how their reliance on fossil fuels has contributed to the rapid melting of the Arctic ice cap. But if progress is what we truly want, 20 seconds is simply not enough. Not by a long shot. An issue this critical demands at least 45 seconds to a solid minute of real, concentrated panic.

Writers and bloggers around the web have seized on the article's dark, humorous wisdom -- it got applause from the New York Times' Andy Revkin and a full-throated agreement from Grist's Chris Mims. And for good reason: it brilliantly renders the dilemma of even those who understand and are worried about climate change. Our attention spans are stretched thin, the modes of action seem archaic and hopeless (write letters to Congressmen, as if anyone thinks that does any good anymore ...), and the panic we might feel about the advance of climate change is bereft of any obviously useful channel to address it.

Read the whole piece in the Onion for a better understanding about why it's so hard to mobilize action on the climate issue.

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