Idiomdrottning’s homepage

Who can fix it?

Sometimes you see stuff online like:

Climate change is not the public’s fault, it’s not your fault. The only people responsible are Industry and Politicians.

A li’l bit of whataboutism there:

Our carbon footprint is trivial compared to […]. Therefore it makes no sense for us to take action, at least until […] does so.

Of course, it’s well-intentioned, meant as a counter to the even worse individualism:

Individuals and consumers are ultimately responsible for taking actions to address climate change.

As far as “fault” go, I keep falling into the mind trap of conflating “who caused it” with “who can fix it”. Ultimately what matters is who can fix it.

And we don’t know who will—I agree that Industry and Politicians are more powerful than Consumers but neither of those three blobs are sapient, willful, soulful people. They’re evolved macroorganisms operating according to their own pressures and processes.

There’s no one human at the helm that can pull the brakes:

So part of the solution is going to be to change the framework industry and politicians operate within to take climate change and other externalities seriously. Let’s keep trying to think of more ways to do that!

There are also changes we can do on the consumer level.

Please don’t conflate this with “ultimately, only consumers need to change”, that’s not what I’m saying at all. Can we get some dialectics in here?

On the one hand, if it weren’t for actual human consumers wanting those burgers, trips, coffee, gasoline cars, iPhones, banks, there wouldn’t be any way for the industry to profit of selling them. On the other hand, the actions of industry often come across as willfully evil with denialist or delayist lobbying, endless flow of ads, and participating in irresponsible B2B consumtion.

Here are some ideas: