Reversing Climate Change: A Three Part Strategy

1. Know This: You Can’t. 

There is actually some psychological comfort to be had in this. The magnitude of the problem is beyond your ability to meaningfully reverse it. On the other hand, the reality of summers with droughts, death and destruction is going to be anything but comfortable. Consider signing up to a philosophy or religion that tells you that there is no reality except the one you create in your mind. Then tell yourself summer is just a mental and cultural construct and go for a walk outside when its 50 degrees, wearing a puffer jacket. These ones by Balenciaga are virtually free, selling for a mere 2.400. Plus, they will match the color of the sun whose rays will now able to reach you without the pesky ozone layer.

2. Recycle. Or Don’t. Either Way, You Won’t Reverse Climate Change 

As narcissistic as you are, the climate crisis humbles you by showing you how utterly insignificant you are. Compared to the ecologically destructive capacities of corporations and states, your puny refusal to recycle pales into insignificance. Even if you dutifully spend hours a day removing un-recycled garbage and dumping it in a wildlife sanctuary from the back of your electric vehicle (powered by a lithium-ion battery with an oversized carbon footprint), your efforts will ultimately have done nothing to bring about the impending end of human life on earth. 100 corporations alone spew out more than 70% of global emissions. Incidentally, the term carbon footprint comes from a British Petroleum ad in which members of the public were asked if they knew what their carbon footprint was. Most did not. This is what corporations, and their indentured servants called nation states, do to deflect attention and responsibility for climate change off themselves and on to you. Don’t be fooled by this. You’re smarter than that. You know you’re not really that important. 

*Unless you’re Jeff Bezos and you’re reading this. In that case you and your penis-shaped rockets really are going to be one of the reasons life on earth will come to an end. But you too, are safe. In our grotesque globalized capitalist economy, nobody will question whether you should have the right to own this much in a world that you, singularly, have done so much to ruin. When the mob comes for you, you’ll be able to fly high into the sky as we worry about the next mega-corporation that uses democratic systems of government like a flushable toilet wipe.

3. Throw Paint on a Painting in a Gallery

This won’t reverse climate change either. But, you will find, there is something poignant about how most people will react when you do this. The outrage expressed over paint being thrown on a priceless work of art (although chances are if it’s in a gallery or a museum it’s overpriced rather than priceless) far exceeds the outrage exhibited as people across the world lose their homes, their rivers, even their children to droughts, famines and wildfires exacerbated by global heating. If the depraved irony of this brings a smile to your face, consider that smiling is far from the worst thing to be doing as the world comes to a slow, burning end.

Dr. Abdul Rahman Mustafa ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter in der Islamischen Normlehre am Paderborner Institut für Islamische Theologie.

#environment #capitalism #climate