non-political environmentalism May 16, 2021 cliffski I’m an enviornmentalist. No surprise, because I have solar panels and an electric car, and am even planning to build a solar farm. However I am not any of these things: A HippieInto drugsA veganAn ‘outdoorsy’ personLGBTA pacifistInto face painting and bongo drums / festivalsA Socialist I have nothing against any of those traits. I have buddies with probably all of them. (Not sure about the bongos actually), and there is nothing negative about any of them. It just so happens that they are not me. But if you see news footage of environmental activists they pretty much are always someone with dreadlocks and bongo drums face-painted as an owl, talking about how sustainable living is incompatible with the ‘capitalist system’. These are the people who are chosen to be on TV. Why? They make more interesting TV. I’m a fairly boring looking stereotypical middle aged dude with rapidly thinning grey-ish hair and glasses. I’m an office-bound company director. If you HAD to guess by looking at me, you would assume I’m middle-management, married, 2 kids, semi detached house, and listens to dire straits on his commute in his Ford Mondeo. You would not assume I’m an environmentalist. The reason I’m an environmentalist is practical. Climate change is fucking up the environment, and I happen to live in the environment. I’m also 51. if I was 81, maybe I wouldn’t care (I suspect I would actually…), but in PURE SELF INTEREST, I am aware that unless we sort this issue, my retirement years are fucked. There are a bunch of myths about the environment that are believed by most people in my position. Such as: I’m too old to worry about it. I’ll be dead before it gets bad. Firstly…you don’t have kids? I hope not, because you are just letting them have a fucked up life instead of you. Seriously, do NOT bother including them in your will, or educating them. Who cares right? whats the point of a house and an education if we hit 2 degrees warming in their life. (clue: none, they will be dead before needing either). Secondly… even if you do NOT have kids…. your timescales are off. We are not ‘waiting’ for climate change to start wrecking us. its started. Do you not even *watch* the news. Sure…a catastrophic freeze in TEXAS that bursts pipes, and wipes out the power grid for days at a time is just normal right? (no). The number and severity of extreme weather events is accelerating. Already. And its going to get way way worse before it gets better even if we take this seriously. Like I said, if you are under 80, yes, it will fuck up your life. Also, just the texas event cost $195billion. Just 1 year, One state. This is all just socialism in disguise. My close buddies would laugh at me having to argue this. NO. There is NO link between left/right politics and environmentalism as a goal. Sure, a powerful state could ‘fix’ climate change with massive taxes and massive state investment. SO could a revenue-neutral carbon tax that shifts the tax base purely towards pollutants and away from income. One of the most effective companies doing something abouit climate change is the car company tesla. A capitalist company run by a billionaire, and occasional worlds richest man. Elon isnt doing this because he is a communist. True, a lot of left-wingers are also environmentalists. But there is NOTHING incompatible about capitalism and fixing climate change. It should be seen as a huge business and economic shift that is an opportunity for canny investors to make a fortune. My Tesla shares are up 800%. Thats not socialism. Its an excuse for big government to control us. Doesn’t have to be. We already have most of the tools in government to take drastic action. fossil-fuel cars are taxed (at different rates), gasoline is taxed, electricity consumption is taxed. Car efficiency is regulated. Major changes to the way we approach climate change can happen literally by changing some numbers in a database by the government. More drastic measures like a carbon tax would involve new laws/tax policy, but that can be a headache for power-plant operators and oil refineries. The government does not have to VAGUELY get more involved in anybodies life to fix this issue. It will not affect my country / be good for my country No. It doesn’t matter where you live, 2 degrees of warming is BAD news for the human race. It sounds like its trivial, whats 2 degrees right? The reason for it is simple, but not talked about, and its nothing top do with sea-level rise (although yup, your beach-side house is FUCKED btw). Its Food production. Food is VERY sensitive both to temperature, and to extreme weather events. Crop yields are vastly affected by climate change. And extreme weather events are generally infrequent enough that we tend to get a decent harvest almost every year. As that ramps up, food yields go down, combined with temperature change to yields and…our food production is going to start to collapse while our population continues to rise. Honestly, even if food prices double, I’m fine. Great news for you! But I hope you enjoy the idea of living in a gated community with armed guards then, because the fact that YOU can afford food does not mean your neighbors can. Also…even if they can, their disposable income has now collapsed, because food takes up so much of it. That basically collapses the economy. Not your economy, the global economy. Your retirement fund is now worth zero. How are you paying for that food now? Oh and… when entire regions and countries become useless for food production…people leave. They are desperate, hungry, poor and need somewhere else to live. If people think the last decade or so of problems with migration into Europe is bad, its going to get way way worse unless we do something. Conclusion You will not be ‘ok’ if we hit bad levels of climate change, and the current forecasts are catastrophic. You might not be ‘interested’ in it (you really think I’m interested in climatology?), you might think ‘its no big deal’ you might think ‘its just for people like X’, but I urge you to rethink all that. Like anything in 2021, Climate Change has been shoehorned into the culture wars and social justice wars. PICK YOUR SIDE! Except actually you don’t have to. People on twitter shout very loudly that sustainability is incompatible with capitalism! Just because its in a hashtag doesn’t make it true. No more than an Ayn Rand advocate saying freedom is impossible without capitalism. Do not let other people decide that environmentalism is ‘not for you’. At its heart, its actually just practical self-interest.