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Even bin Laden believes in global climate change

by Tao, Carrboro, NC

It would be so convenient – a real relief – if I were to simply tell myself that global climate change is not happening, or, at least, that humans are not the cause and we can’t do anything to change it. Then I’d be off the hook and worry a lot less. That would work for me. But, it wouldn’t be the truth.

This is all I can think of to say to the people who insist on denying what is happening to our environment and the role our industrialized lifestyles play in it (George Marshall explores that topic here.) Then again, I could always point out that even Osama Bin Laden believes in the impact of global warming. This from Grist.org, via Agence France-Presse:

“All industrial nations, mainly the big ones, are responsible for the crisis of global warming,” bin Laden said in the message attributed to him by the pan-Arab news channel based in Doha.

In an unusual message possibly timed to coincide with the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, he warned of the impact of global warming by saying that “discussing climate change is not an intellectual luxury, but a reality.”

I know – the irony of it all. Especially considering bin Laden’s fortune comes from oil, and, well, terrorists are not usually members of GreenPeace. I’m not trying to bolster his image in any way, but, just sayin’…

It would be so simple to just decide that we don’t need to make changes – big ones. But, as it turns out, denial is built in to our human nature, as described, in part, below. Pay extra attention when you reach the last two lines…..

In 2001, George Marshall wrote a great story about this state of mind. Here’s an exerpt: In, States of Denial, Knowing About Atrocities and Suffering, author Stanley Cohen argues that this capacity to deny a level of awareness is the normal state of affairs for people in an information-saturated society… According to Cohen’s definition, denial involves a fundamental paradox – that in order to deny something it is necessary at some level to recognise its existence and its moral implications. It is, he says, a state of simultaneous ‘knowing and not-knowing’.   Read more here.

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One Response to “Even bin Laden believes in global climate change”

  1. Roger Hartsell Says:

    There’s also the knowing/doing gap. How to manifest change that you know is intellectually and morally true. “be the change you want to see in the world” is not a cool statement on a t-shirt, but a reflexive verb/. “I will be the change I want to see in the world.”
    I h ave to look at his (Bin Laden’s), statement with a huge gulp of correctness. Afghanistan probably has a really small carbon footprint.

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