The Answer

My frustration of yesterday seems to have born a small fruit or two. For one thing, some people went from my blog to Revkin’s Dot Earth, that I consider to be one of the best sources of accurate environmental information on the web. For another thing, I got an email response that I will quote for you:

“If I understand your comments, it sounds like you think Revkin is “beating a dead horse.” If so, his piece “What Does the Present Owe the Future?” seems to be beating the same dead horse that you are. As I read his writing, it appears he is trying to inform people about facts, the knowledge of which might change their attitudes.

“He doesn’t have to concern himself with changing the attitudes of people like you. Reaching the people who really need to change is a challenging task. He appears to be getting thoughtful discussions started in his blog.”

Indeed, and my response is that I think it’s pretty obvious that he and I are both failing, because everyone we are reaching seems to be already agreeing with us. By that measure, he is a much bigger failure than I am, with about 1000 times as many hits.

And why do I consider this to be failure? I think it is the nature of people and the nature of the blog that leads us down the complex and twisting trails of the web until we arrive at a few podcasts that we really want to read because they are telling us exactly what we want to hear.

But as the theme of this particular podcast is power, and especially personal power to control our own lives and accomplish more or less great things depending on our talents and our luck, I will tell you what you do not want to hear.

Looking for someone who will tell you exactly what you want to hear?

It’s been tried.
It doesn’t work.

Or I should say it has nothing to do with personal power, because you can’t change anything that way, and if you can’t change anything, then obviously you have no power.

Check out Dot Earth

It’s good to know there are so many meetings on the subjects of climate change, energy, global warming and population. I’ve commented on climate change meetings in Copenhagen that are warming up to the international meeting to be held there in the fall. I’ve also commented on the recent report of Britain’s Sustainable Development Commission and the meeting last week, of the Optimum Population Trust.

It’s good to know because there is an urgency about these issues, and it looks like the United States of America is now ready to join the conversation with the rest of the world in efforts to resolve them in our behalf.

At the same time we address the long term issues, it is important to remember that we need to nourish and support and protect what we have today. We don’t want to lose tomorrow from focusing on today; we also don’t want to lose tomorrow from not focusing on today, because ecosystems and the individual species of which they are made are unique and precious creations that can not replace themselves, not as they were. Once gone, they are gone. And perhaps more importantly it is the broad diversity that these ecosystems have evolved over the millenia that stabilizes them. That’s why people fuss over diversity; it stabilizes the ecosystem.

So today I want to refer you to my favorite blog, Dot Earth, where a short-term emergency need is described.

And right below that piece Dot Earth reports a long-term success. It seems that our government is informing itself about our biological challenges. At least I hope that subject comes up in the meetings, and if so we can at last join the conversation for real.

It’s not clear whether or not we expect to resolve these problems that were caused by growth — by creating more growth. But if there is a real discussion, then that point can be raised. Right?