There are 3 very opinionated sides to climate change discussions; the establishment, the elites, and the eco-warriors, and one common ground keeping them from progress.
Over time we have seen the climate crisis discussions heat up (pun intended). Whether you are on the side of urgent action is needed or a denier who thinks it’s just fear-mongering and fake news, there’s certainly a lot of talk about the one place we all call home.
However, it’s not just today that is creating fierce debate over climate change and global warming. The first-ever COP (COP1) was held in Berlin in 1995. There have been environmental protestors even before that.
Yet, over 25 years later we are still locked in discussions, only just shaking hands on deals that should’ve been cemented many years ago, and even they might not be trusted to be seen through. The deals agreed are often gradual and minimal too, rather than bold and brave.
Of course, shutting off all power right now and leaving society and economy in a blackout is hardly the answer either, as we found with Coronavirus. People don’t fare well to being locked up in cages, so to think people are going to sacrifice all their home comforts in one sweep would be idealist and improbable.
The Climate Change Crisis
So, what got us into this mess? Why has it taken so long? And will we see human activity change in the future fast enough for our planet to not become too extreme or hostile a place to live?
Some places already are extreme, difficult places to live, but if only a few places of our world were left habitable you could imagine the effects that would have on a crammed population. The lifestyles many of us are fortunate enough to have today certainly wouldn’t be so comfortable, and we’d have to adapt innovations towards living in much more testing environments than we have today, we’d need a lot of innovation and critical thinking to develop the kind of adaptable solutions we’d need. We may find it too late to even adapt properly and see civilisation threatened, but this could also be over-the-top fear-mongering.
We could see the worst-case scenario, but we could also see a rosier scenario where we find a way to sustain our living conditions and maintain a decent balance of equilibrium within more bearable polar extremes. The rosier scenario may already be out of touch though as we don’t tend to take action until it’s too late, and if this becomes the case then it is because of the differences between three types of people.
The Establishment, The Elites, and The Eco-Warriors.
The Establishment is the easy target. They are the governments and policymakers, country leaders who make the decisions. For many years we’ve seen politicians make false promises whilst trying to win themselves a piece of power to put on their CVs. It’s hard to really see how they care for the people they are often elected to represent at times, as they have time and again been seen for being dishonest and incompetent.
The Elites aren’t exactly the flavour of the month either. They were the flavour of last month. Today, they are largely tech companies who monopolize markets and in a global marketplace rake in billions of profits, not always with the most environmentally friendly practices in mind. They have the collateral but not always the desire to part with their cash.
The Eco-Warriors have long been the voice of climate change protests. They seek to make themselves heard, to everyone. They complain a lot about what is happening to the planet, yet sometimes contradict their plea with their own comfortable living conditions. Their agenda can come across as virtue-signaling and self-validation defining more so than it can come across educated and polished. With some, there is undoubtedly a big heart, but also with others there’s a less conscious ego in the mix.
What Do All Three Have In Common?
This is what all of them share, and what is arguably leading towards a circle of blah blah blah rhetoric from all angles rather than meaningful action and direction.
Firstly, The Establishment denied there was a climate issue. It wasn’t too long ago that climate consideration was a footnote on political election campaigns. In that sense, progress has been made as today it’s becoming a leading issue of debate. It took a long time to admit that there was such an important issue, but even as more countries finally pact together to reduce emissions and meet net-zero targets, it comes from the same people who massage their egos on a daily basis with their roles of being in power. Do they know how to drop their ego? Likely not.
Then we have The Elites who arguably have the biggest ego of them all. At least if ego was measured in wealth then they would. The Elites are one of the reasons we have such impacting pressure on our environment. The growth we’ve had since the Industrial Revolution 100 years ago to today has led to the unprecedented emissions of carbon dioxide we have today around the world. Again, power and control were driving forces. Greed and material desires were also balanced with a much greater standard of living for millions, if not billions, of people around the world today. Yet, the blind frenzied innovation wasn’t thought of with sustainability or ethics in mind. And many elites simply don’t care as their ego is valued in status and wealth.
The final group of egos comes in the Eco-Warriors. Their ego might not be seen as obvious on the surface but there lies a bandwagon approach to their protests, where increasingly people are joining them not for the real needs of our planet, but due to an unconsciously subtle (and not-so-subtle) desire for attention and validation in themselves. They criticise the doings of others without seeing their own hypocrisy in how their actions don’t always co-inside with the best environmental practices. Young activists particularly spend countless hours using energy from their phones and laptops, have air-con and computers in nearly every room from school to home, travel on jet planes and in private cars, and sleep in houses crafted from the same manufactured materials they protest against. Their ego (and naivety) blinds them to their hypocrisy.
So, we have a spectrum of egos, all mingling with their own agenda, and blinding them all to the needs of humanity holistically.
The Limitations Of Different Egos
The interesting thing about egos is that they are the exact block leading towards the kind of integral, solution-based learning that is needed to fix such a collective problem as climate change.
There are two types of people who develop from a young age. Those who expressed their ego in child development and those who didn’t. For those who did they learned to become independent in needs quicker. They were filled with a rebellious streak that led towards natural progressions in human development, but only in areas that would seek and find a fixed and comfortable paradigm where their ego could flourish.
You can liken this to the Three Egos of The Establishment, The Elites, and The Eco-Warriors. All three have developed strong egos, which society often thinks is necessary and healthy.
However, as humanity we have reached a point where ego only gets us so far now.
We can’t just keep creating more and more stuff to sell through consumerism. The Elites have hit a brick wall with their status and wealth agenda when climate change is concerned.
We can’t just keep raising awareness of what ‘should’ be done. It’s easy to talk, it’s easy to be a critic. Whilst raising awareness is a necessary step, it is the first step generally to change, but in such a contentious and big topic like climate change talk really isn’t enough, which leaves the Eco-Warriors shouting the same song over and over without working out an answer themselves. They just hope The Establishment or The Elites will listen, they actually put the power in their court.
The Establishment can keep ignoring but with increasing pressure, not from the activists, but from the scientific facts, they can’t ignore forever, but they too are only really used to setting restrictions rather than innovating solutions. They frankly need The Elites to help in that regard, who needed The Eco-Warriors to realise that their customer base is now more environmentally aware in their decision-making process.
What Is Needed Before We Can Even Move Forward To Solve Climate Change
There becomes a clear fact. They all need each other but their collective egos are getting in the way.
So, the only viable solution to putting differences aside and to tackle climate change together comes from the ability of all three being able to drop their ego and see the value in each perspective, and this ability comes from developing a fluid mindset that looks beyond one set paradigm.
The Establishment, The Elites, and The Eco-Warriors can together forget about being the Three Egos, and just for now, possibly, and necessarily, become the Three AmEgos.