Philosophistry Database

Climate Tolerance

Understanding climate change is not difficult. A child in school can understand carbon emissions. What is difficult is understanding our response to it. Why do half of Americans align with a party that wants to deny climate change exists. Why does the other half, when they do get in power, hardly move the needle on regulation?

A parallel example in history comes from London during the Industrial Revolution. During the Great Smog of 1952, the entire city was literally choking on the byproducts of its smokestacks. Only then was regulation passed. Today the city is relatively safe for living. Where are we in London's history? Are we at 1943? Or are we in 1843? Or are we in 1743?

We have a tolerance for the byproducts of climate change, just as the Londoners had tolerated smog up until they didn't. The increase in hurricanes may be more like the increase in manure due to horse and carriage traffic of the early 1800s. Where we are on that curve will determine the seriousness of our response. Until climate change is palpably killing us, we probably won't do anything.

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