I feel like we keep talking about sustainability and how to solve the sustainability issue as a society but we aren’t really getting it. For example, I was listening to my local NPR station as I often do and they had a story about climate change and how we as humans are going to see the biggest climate change yet. Not necessarily a new idea but research keeps proving that it will indeed happen in the near future. This story was followed by a story about automated cars, which focused on who would be liable if these automated cars were in a wreck. These clashing articles get to the heart of the issue about our thinking with sustainability.
We know climate change is an issue (even though some groups may still be denying it), but we just are so debilitated by these unknown possibilities that we can’t change anything about our lives. For example, we are still putting funding into the creation of automated cars, instead of other sustainable transportation sources. The more I think about it the more I believe that single cars are not sustainable even if they are powered by solar or electricity, because no matter what the source of energy for a car, they still use massive amounts of resources and do not have a long term lifespan (the average being 8 years).
My husband is currently reading a book that referenced Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity by Ulrich Beck which discussed humans knowing too much and the probabilities of risk that are associated with knowing so much. The interesting part is that instead of taking action by knowing the probabilities of risk, we are instead paralyzed by this and don’t take any action. I think this is a big problem when dealing with climate change. We don’t know exactly what is going to happen and how drastic it is going to be, scientists have ideas and models, but we know nothing until it actually happens.
We can’t let this fear of climate change paralyze us. We have to get past that fear and try to make changes now that will lessen the overall change down the road.