It seems harsh, sure. But often global warming is such a distant, big-picture issue that we find it difficult to really, genuinely muster up encouragement. We might attend a benefit if we're invited, and we'll nod along as Cameron Diaz lectures us about the power of hybrid cars on TV - but we can't find it in us to take action.
Here's how I feel. Looking at pictures of the Holocaust stirs up sadness. Reading about the sex trafficking business in third-world countries brews anger. But thinking about the ozone layer....personally, it doesn't really get me going.
Meanwhile, if I'm being told to take my charger out of its plug when I'm not using it, how can I stop the feeling that my changes are minor and insignificant? How can I motivate myself to alter my lifestyle for the planet if I can't see, touch, bear witness to the rewards of my actions? The benefits of helping the planet are huge. Unfortunately, they're not tangible.
There are, however, a few wonderful exceptions. The government provides tasty tax benefits for solar powered homes; there are, similarly, plenty of government-funded rebates on hybrid and electric cars. There is the fact that being "all about green" is very, very fashionable; so if you're in a big environmental campaign, you're the It Thing in your community. That's a reward everyone can enjoy; if you're in a big environmental campaign, that is.
But what about the little things, like turning off the faucet when we're not using it, and taking shorter showers? Those are the changes that are most realistic for everyday people, but they don't offer any benefits you can enjoy. Nothing much other than the thought that you're doing the right thing.
Thoughts? How can we change this and make the threat of global warming more real, more powerful so as to inspire Americans to make a difference? How can we show our people that the changes they make really are helping, and offer them attainable rewards?