1. Deny: There is no problem.
2. Minimize/deflect: There is a problem, but it isn’t serious and will take care of itself, or, it is a different problem than the one you think it is.
3. Give up/resignation: There is a problem, but the problem is too big or it is too late for us to do anything about it.
Given that climate change is arguably the most significant problem facing our planet, it provides an outstanding example of these responses.
Denial: Climate change doesn’t exist.
Minimize/deflect: Okay, there may be climate change, but it isn’t due to human activity. Or, it is a hoax created by the Chinese.
Give up/resignation: There is climate change, humans have caused or at least exacerbated it, but it is too late to do anything about it.
Then what happens?
Delaying prompt, serious, and sustained international action on climate change will produce increasing levels of drought, flooding, and other weather-related calamities.
Those events will cause untold numbers of refugees both within and between countries, most of whom will be very poor.
Mass migrations of people will intensify the xenophobia, anger, and fear that we are now experiencing and lead to small and large-scale wars.
Scapegoating, publicly-sanctioned discrimination, and other acts that were once unthinkable become common.
The very rich and the otherwise powerful protect and perhaps even expand what is theirs by inexplicably convincing the have nots that it will be in their best interests for the haves to have even more.
All of this is predictable.
What is required are prompt, well-focused actions by individuals and governments to address an impending crisis of unprecedented proportions.
What will you do (and perhaps sacrifice today) to help create a sustainable, stable, and peaceful world for your children and grandchildren?