Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Climate justice, Who are you going to blame?


Chapter Twenty One
Who are you going to blame?

Complicity does not make for good drama. Modern morality plays need antagonists, and the desire gets stronger when apportioning blame becomes a political necessity, which it surely will. This is a problem for stories both fictional and non-, each kind drawing logic and energy from the other. The natural villains are the oil companies—and in fact a recent survey of movies depicting climate apocalypse found the plurality were actually about corporate greed.

Wallace-Wells, David. The Uninhabitable Earth (p. 149). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.

Our sense of guilt, both personal and collective, triggers a desire to get defensive and find someone to blame, someone to project the guilt onto.

It is very easy, even habitual, in our polarized American society to blame either the Republicans or the Democrats, the 1% or the poor, the “fake news” or the pundits that affirm our views, the Devil or God.

How do you think the blame game will work for mitigating the negative consequences for carbon emissions and global warming?

Unitarian Univeralisits covenant together to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in our human relations. UUs are not into the blame game, but working together for the common good.

The first step in applying this second principle is in increasing our understanding of the system: its dynamics, its norms, the roles various components play in maintaining the status quo and resisting change. The second step in applying the principle is considering how the system can be changed to achieve a higher degree of justice, equity, and compassion. The third step is in choosing a strategy to achieve the desired goals. The fourth step is gathering the resources necessary for the change activity. The fifth step is implementing the change strategy, and the sixth step is evaluating the progress towards goal achievement.

In this model, assigning blame is not helpful. What is helpful is designing and implementing and evaluating a change strategy. So instead of asking, “Who are you going to blame?” the better question would be, “What are you going to do?”

Do UUs know what to do?

Of course: educate, organize, vote, boycott and demonstrate, implement ameliorative strategies.

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