This video was recorded Wednesday evening April 14th at 111 Minna, San Francisco before any of the protests or disruptions at the carbon conference that ensued on Thursday or Friday.
There is no doubt that there is massive denial about the issue of climate change in our society. Nowhere more obvious perhaps than in the carbon offset and trading industry, where profits depend on selling false solutions while avoiding certain uncomfortable facts about the predicament that we are in.
Whenever something huge and morally repugnant is going on in a society, people use psychological mechanisms to shield themselves from the harsh reality- to try and convince ourselves that we are good and moral people after all.
In the face of our holocaust upon the natural world that is currently unfolding, we make up little stories in our heads to explain our ongoing destructive behavior.
The train drivers who brought Jews from the ghettos to the death camps during WWII were no different. They knew- deep down- what the fate of their victims would be, but they never spoke of it out loud. To do so would break the spell- bring a reality forward that was too painful to bear.
Just as we grow very uncomfortable when questions are brought up about our inadequate and pathetic response to scientific findings that we are putting life on Earth at risk– just so the wealthy among us can fly to international conferences, buy plastic stuff we don’t really need and impress others with our cars.
A climate emergency response plan that depends on carbon trading and offsets allows us to temporarily avoid confronting the reality that we need to quit our fossil fuel addiction. That if we are to have any hope of a livable future on this planet we need to leave oil, coal, and gas in the ground.
Since Copenhagen, there has been a marked shift in the emotional tenor around the issue of climate change. While many of us are beginning to realize that we need to make our own plan to secure life on this planet, others are descending further into a dream that the corporations and governments will solve this problem for us through markets and offsets.
That the richest among us don’t have to cease our destructive lifestyles. That the system is somehow robust, resilient, and sustainable rather than being wasteful, fragile, and transitory.