“I don’t believe in this climate change stuff,” said my CPA, Al, when I took in my taxes. “You can’t convince me.”
Well, you’re a CPA, I thought to myself. Good with numbers in little boxes and adding up columns of figures, but when it comes to wisdom, life, still a child. And I wondered about people whose lives are made up of rules and regulations, yes and no answers, they know the trees, but don’t understand the forest that they are standing in.
Is this the time to share my views or change the subject? I changed the subject. Not the time to review the scientific evidence with his mind already made up. He did complain about the unusual cold, rainy summer we’ve been having which has prevented him from enjoying his cottage and his boat. But weather is not the same thing necessarily as climate change so I didn’t go there.
But I had to wonder how a smart guy, a professional man, like Al could be so ignorant of bigger things? He’s used to working with immediate detail in the relatively short term of a year or two and beyond that he couldn’t be bothered. Bigger questions of a more philosophical nature seemed to make him anxious and awkward and out of his element.
Let it go, I counseled myself. All you need is your taxes done. You got an extension so get them in by the August 15th deadline. Al is good at this. Accentuate the positive and minimize the negative. You need him for his professional services not for his opinions on climate change.
So we chatted about the weather, sports, music, books, and I left. I left feeling relieved I’d got my taxes done, but uneasy about our lack of agreement about climate change. What good is it to pay your taxes with the world heading in the direction it is going in? What will be the state of our country and world 100 years from now, the world of my grandchildren and great grandchildren? I’ll be gone. It will be their problem, but one I helped to create. I did make my small contribution though to fund the next billion dollar Lockheed F-35 stealth jet fighter to keep us safe from terrorists.