Speaking of gaining a global perspective through world travel, I find myself often wondering why we rarely hear about global warming on the news.
The more time I spend exploring this beautiful planet floating out in space, the more aware I am of how callous most of us are in our attitudes towards sustainability.
What is our proper relationship with the natural world? Are we acting responsibly to maintain life on this planet?
What does the future hold for the earth?
Some have studied why we humans don’t seem to be reacting in any major ways to the gradual heating of our planet.
It seems humans only react quickly and strongly to visceral threats, only those where the impact is here, now and obvious. If we cannot see this threat in our daily lives, it becomes faceless. A simple case of out of sight, out of mind. How do we put a face on global warming?
The record-breaking natural disasters in the past few years have gotten some news coverage. Each summer in the U.S. we see more high temperature records fall across the country, and the loss of ice sheets we thought were ‘permanent’ has gotten a little bit of attention.
One national survey found only 16% of us are actually ‘alarmed’ about global warming. They found 29% of us are ‘concerned,’ 25% are ‘cautious’ wondering if this is really happening, 8% are disengaged, 13% are doubtful, and 8% are ‘dismissive,’ believing global warming is all a hoax or a conspiracy by scientists or the U.N.
It is true that on most levels this is an invisible problem which the media must inform us about, and yet global warming gets miniscule media coverage, all while we have the fossil fuel companies spending millions to create misinformation campaigns, telling us the science is still ‘unsettled.’
In the first Gallup World Poll on climate change they found 4 out of 10 citizens worldwide have never heard of climate change, while two thirds of those who live in the poorest countries like Bangladesh experience it daily and personally, with no understanding of what is happening to their land and their lives.
The part of this I find most confounding is the apparent lack of activism or concern among those of you with children and grandchildren. These are the people who will reap what we have sown in the decades ahead.
What the original “Americans” knew, and we seem to have forgotten, is that we are all a part of the natural world, sharing genetic makeup with the trees and animals around us.
Each of us is inseparable from the natural world, and so what we continue to destroy, may well eventually destroy us.