Spending regular time with others who share my concern about climate change has become an important element in my life. And the solidarity I feel when surrounded by people like this - as I was at a march yesterday in Philadelphia- reminds me how stressful the alternative has recently been.
For several reasons, I do not routinely bring up climate change in conversation, especially with certain people. First, although I'm confident the science is conclusive, our current political climate - including screaming matches about climate change disguised as dialogue - is more about polemics than facts. Second, my grasp of the science is still not strong enough; I'd prefer being silent vs. sounding ill-informed.
But mostly I bite my tongue - thereby allowing the stress to wear me down - because climate change denial is often blended, in a classic case of obfuscation, with jobs. In "American Catch" (2014), author Paul Greenberg - speaking about the way opponents of local fishing try to divert attention from the real issue says - "...that hallowed American tonic for happiness known as jobs..." No one who supports legislation limiting future use of fossil fuels in order to mitigate climate change is saying some existing jobs are not at risk. What we are saying is let's figure out a way to wean ourselves off those fuels - gradually - before the damage is irreparable.
It was soothing to be able to say things like this yesterday without worrying about the volume of my voice.