Energy for Justice: “Climate Changes, People Don’t”
February 2, 2011
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I have to start off this blog post by saying I do think people can change. This title comes from a recent This American Life episode entitled Kid Politics, which delves into whether or not a young climate change disbeliever – a teenager deeply skeptical about the scientific method and scientists – can be convinced of two things: that the climate is changing and that people are at least partially to blame for the change. In the episode, a young Glen Beck fan is introduced to a scientist, who talks about how she and other scientists came to believe these things. The teen, whose name is Erin, says at the end that she’s still not convinced (I feel for her – she’s a teenager, and throughout the story her voice is shaking, indicative of perhaps nervousness about being interviewed, but also of being put up against someone with a degree.)
I doubt we’d need only proof of climate change to help drive innovation for sustainable energy development, since new technology has myriad other benefits besides being good for the environment (it creates new jobs, it makes our country more secure, in some cases it’s cheaper than coal, oil and natural gas). Still, I asked a question on Greenblade’s Facebook group a while ago, and still wonder about the answer: if people treat the earth better, does it matter what their motivations were?