Though scientifically speaking, the familiar boiling frog allegory isn’t factually true but it’s a wonderful parable to describe so many human circumstances that the myth remains. You know the anecdote. It’s the story of the frog comfortably enjoying its stay in a pot of tepid water while presumably a human (oh those crazy humans) slowly turns up the heat so incrementally that the frog doesn’t notice until it’s too late to save its own life. It boils to death. In reality, if not otherwise trapped, frogs will certainly jump out of the pot before it’s too late. Intelligent humans on the other hand, often ignore instinct in favor of “rational” thought and high-tech solutions.
We are the frogs. Global climate change is the water.
We may not boil to death but we will lose so much habitat that we will eventually starve. We don’t feel these changes because they’re global in scale. We have our eyes on something we consider more important; money.
Economic growth, both personally and globally is the prize we seek. This prized pursuit is what drives the heat engine known as Industrial Civilization. This heat engine is fueled by oil, coal and natural gas. The excessive use of these fossil fuels (that our ever growing civilization demands) has led to climate chaos. Societal chaos will soon follow. In fact, if you’re paying attention at all, you’ll see that it already has.
Those of us soaking in privilege can’t feel the water as it gets warmer.
Privilege not only numbs us from the heat but ultimately causes the heat. Our drive towards progress, wealth, and convenience requires fossil fuel use. Simply replacing our fossil fuel addiction with renewable resources doesn’t address our addiction to consumption. Our consumption of goods results in the consumption of entire habitats causing ecosystems to collapse. It will ultimately consume us as well. We need those habitats, those ecosystems left intact to survive.
We civilized folks like to think we can solve anything put in front of us.
We usually throw ingenuity and technology at any given puzzle. We fail to see that the crisis – the real problems we are trying to solve – were created by the same ingenuity and technology that we now envision to be our saviors. Solving civilization with civilization’s tools, is by definition, insane.
Civilized living itself is the problem.
Only when we’re willing to confront this fact, can we begin to understand the global predicament we face. Once we begin to understand, then we can begin to grieve. Instead, we repeat the same pattern of further compounding our problems with ingenuity and technology, only dig ourselves in deeper.
Talking personally now, accepting our predicament may be the most difficult thing you will do in your life. Your ego will fight you the entire way. Accepting death is difficult enough. Accepting the imminent death (as if there’s any other kind) of every human being on the planet is mind boggling. If you can get to acceptance then you will achieve something very few ever experience; liberation.
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