25 OCT 2012 – Jesse Parent | Someone actually brought up psychology today when talking about things I’m interested in! What an occasion for discussion. Curiously, in an article about energy funding in the US & presidential debates, Maslow’s Pyramid was brought up by John Miller:
Jesse, Who’s really ‘winning the future’? Europe with their ongoing economic crisis, the Middle East with their perpetual chaos, Russia where they are trying to resurrect some of the past USSR , or Asia where their enormous populations and carbon emissions are growing faster than all Developed Countries’ current ineffective attempts to reduce their carbon footprints?
If you recall Maslow’s pyramid (hierarchy of human needs) from your old college days, it should not be surprising that the priority of climate change is not very high today. When most U.S. families are struggling to feed and meet their families’ basic biological/physiological and safety needs (the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid) all other issues are secondary. Until the U.S. economy and un-/under-employment truly return to normal-historic and healthy levels, higher level human needs (self esteem and self actualization), including climate change concerns should not be expected to become a general Public priority.
My response is below:
The middle east not being in perpetual chaos would be a huge loss for the war economy – don’t expect that to happen any time soon. Russia seems particularly stationary. Asia, and some elements of the middle east – look at Masdar, the UAE, Singapore, etc – are winning the future. Even Saudi Arabia is trying to become a leader in solar power.
I don’t think caring about carbon footprints is a major concern for many of the most developed nations, yes, because of self preservation, and also because it’s particularly inconvenient. Yet that climate change is not even on the map in terms of US national discourse, to me, is a litmus test for how far away from substance the US is.
“Until the U.S. economy and un-/under-employment truly return to normal-historic and healthy levels, higher level human needs (self esteem and self actualization), including climate change concerns should not be expected to become a general Public priority.”
Yes and no…
The longer climate change is unaddressed, the more severe the debt will be to pay in the future. As it was once said, “calamity cannot be avoided by running away from it” – or pretending like it’s not there. Or, “the significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them”. The point is, trying to rebuild the national or global economy without dealing with climate change is remarkably short sighted and willfully ignorant.
We’re at a time where kid gloves, fairy tells, and easy to digest stories about what we need to do to have a better world need to be discarded. Shrugging off “climate change” as unessential, or not vital, is in one sense the very essence of the problem; a very narrow self-image.
How do you see the connection between economy, climate change, and self identity interrelating?
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