Saying that if people drastically changed their way of life they could still only offset a few % of the impact humanity has on the planet whereas corporations could offset most of it makes complete sense... if you don't realize that 100% of humanity is people and 0% of corporations would survive if those people's way of life meant not doing any business with them.
We have all the power needed. We just need the bravery.
@ChameleonScales While it's true that significant lifestyle changes are needed, especially in the US, there's some truth to the statement that corporations bear an enormous amount of fault in this issue that can't effectively be changed by only looking at these things from an individual lifestyle point of view. For example, US public transit is an incredibly broken system, and we need major structural changes above the level of the individual to change that.
@ChameleonScales Automobile corps were responsible for destroying that system. And now we will need something to bring it back. I say this as someone who does not own a car and so uses primarily public transit and cycling to travel any significant distance. I'm not saying this is something I'm unwilling to do as an individual, I'm saying it's not usable on the scale it needs to be, and simply can't accommodate most people's needs.
@ChameleonScales For society to address the climate crisis, we're going to need to address the back end as well as the frontend. And society needs to be set up in a way that sustainable, *livable*, options are available to everyone, not only those with the mental and/or material resources to utilize them.
@unspeakablehorror Your points are valid and I'm aware of those issues. To be more precise (because I kind of made a short provocative toot to engage discussion), I'm not saying we have the power to make the necessary changes by tomorrow or even in a matter of a few years. I'm also not saying we should forget about putting pressure on governments and companies. Obviously we should as much as we can. I am however saying that hypothetically, 1/x
given a decade or two and given no change coming from companies or governments (which is unrealistic but bare with me), we could, through our life choices, annihilate the current economic model and reverse the whole machine. To get in more detail, and again this is utopist but bare with me! Let's say for starters, if you agree that animal farming is one of the easiest big issues to solve, that everyone progressively shifts to a plant-based diet and eats no more than they need. 2/x
If you also agree that all the jobs it would suppress could be shifted in a matter of years and that agricultural land use would plummet, sustainable food would progressively be available in basically every corner and the need for transport to distribute or buy this food would drop all the same. To which you may reply remains at least transport for jobs. If we all create and use off-government currencies (local money or blockchain), we can basically decide (3/x)
(unless under an authoritarian government) how money gets shared outside of the law. We can decide (unless I'm wrong) on a universal income or whatever works best all by ourselves, basically changing how jobs work and therefore its need for transport. That's just 2 of many things we can do and I will spare you all the other parts about autonomous life and would rather direct you towards a documentary like "Tomorrow" https://www.demain-lefilm.com/en/film which goes to greater details about all of this.(4/x)
But my main point is more motivational than realistic. I see too many environmentalists saying that people can't make enough of a change and I'm afraid it makes many think they can just put the blame on big corporations and wait when, in theory, even if any statistical study about the human brain would tell you otherwise, we could make it all happen given, as I said a decade or 2. (5/5)
@ChameleonScales I think for me the big shift in thinking that needs to occur is personal vs societal change not being considered an either/or dichotomy. I agree that one of the worst things anyone can do in this crisis is be invested primarily in assigning blame rather than committing to action. But I think there's a lot of work here that must be done collectively in some way rather than as atomized individuals, and that's what I hoped to get across.
@ChameleonScales Like for example with the issue of animal agriculture, which you've correctly pointed out absolutely does need to be addressed as a major contributor to carbon emissions, we need to look not only at what we can do on a personal level, but what we can do to help drive change at a larger level. For example, via combating animal ag industry propaganda and ag-gag laws and increasing food security through orgs like Food Not Bombs handing out vegan food to the homeless.
@ChameleonScales There are some things also that must be addressed at a societal level. For example war, which in addition to being devastating to the individuals affected by it, is immensely destructive to our environment and indisputably contributing to the climate crisis and environmental destruction. But individuals need to do more than just make a personal decision not to participate in war. They must vocally and actively oppose it.
@ChameleonScales It's important for people not to simply give up because lives are already being lost to this crisis and every life is precious, and so the faster and more strongly we act the more people we will help. But for that same reason I think it's important to guard against the belief that one can solve the world's great problems simply through a few personal life changes, which also greatly limits impact. This is a big problem, and it will require big solutions.
@unspeakablehorror I agree. I think we're on the same page, simply pointing out different perspectives on what people need to hear but neither perspective seems to exclude the other.
@ChameleonScales Glad to hear it! I think we both think climate change is a pressing issue and certainly do have some significant overlap in our positions, but it can be hard to judge what someone's precise thoughts on an issue is in just a few words. So thanks for taking some time to discuss this with me.
@unspeakablehorror Well thank you for responding to my toot in the first place! I'm glad to have heard your side and will surely take it into account in future conversations.
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