Your Dictator, Or Mine?

  • Posted on: 29 July 2021
  • By: David Trammel

With our new members and activity recently I've been meaning to restart the main page blog. I had several subjects prepped and half written when this came across my Faceplant timeline this weekend.

"1 in 4 Americans are skeptical on climate change... Who gives a shit? That doesn't matter. You don't need people's opinions on a fact. You might as well have a poll asking: Which is bigger 5 or 15? Do owls exist? Are there hats?

I love John Oliver. Leave it to a Brit, to tell you that you are an idiot and make you laugh at it.

Unfortunately his sentiment, which is echoed by too many people on the Left and in progressive circles, especially in the field of climate change, is all to common. "If the Deplorable people won't do the right thing, then we need to force them to do it!"

Funny how in the next breath, many will be shouting about how those same Deplorables are embracing fascism and authoritarianism.

Why should we care what a quarter of the American population thinks?

It's called a democracy, and while I do think its on shaky ground, it is our form of government. When you are speaking about affecting people's lives and using their tax dollars, you have to consider what they think. You may not like how it works, and it often doesn't, and yet it's still about the best form of government there is. Not the least because, like a rubber band, you can stretch it only so long before it snaps back. Watch when it does.

The sad truth is that Progressive don't really mind dictators, they just want them to be "Their" dictator. The problems seem so large that we all want someone strong to fix it, even if that fix comes with the loss of our right to govern ourselves. That's what has made the shouts of "masks take away our freedoms" so persuasive to many on the Right, because in some ways they are recognize that the Left would force the issue if they had the power.

We are in what John Michael Greer calls the "Long Descent". A time when the American Empire begins its disintegration and collapse. We've been in it for close to a half a century now, though you wouldn't know it by the Media and the Elite talk but for those of us down the social and economic food chain, we see the rot. We see how civilization is stretched and we're waiting for the snap.

Climate change activists have a messaging problem. It's a common problem on the Left. Progressives and Liberals know what they want, but too often just assume the "rightness" of that want. That people should just get it, without them having to do the hard part of explaining things and making their point. Sometimes having to make it over and over again. And sure, the Right and conservatives make it even harder, with lies and misinformation. Americans can accept someone stretching the truth, everyone does it.

What they don't like is the smell of hypocrisy and that's a big part of the messaging problem. Climate activists want the Poor to shoulder the burden of dealing with the costs of doing something about climate. When someone tells you that for the good of the planet, YOU need to give up your car and take public transport, THEN boards a private jet to fly off to a climate conference, its not hard to understand why too many give those activist the Middle Finger. Until climate activist live the lifestyle changes they suggest to others, we're not going to see the vast majority of Americans get on board.

And not just that, the focus needs to be put on the ones who are the most damaging to the environment. That's not "Joe Sixpack". It's the 1% Elite who individually cause a huge share of the carbon emissions as well as the top 12 global polluting corporations like Exxon. Go after those before you come asking me to do my part.

"Climate change: Global 'elite' will need to slash high-carbon lifestyles"

I'm reminded of a saying from my college days. I was working at a company which sold fur coats at a time when PETA was first making the news.

"You know why PETA throws paint at little old ladies wearing fur coats and not bikers in leather? Because bikers would kick their ass..."

Sadly the reason that climate activists don't speak more about the Elite and their over large effect on the climate? Because the Elite contributes to political campaign funds. And pay for climate conferences.

Will they make the needed change in their messaging before its too late?

I'm not sure but I'd like to think we still have time. I'm afraid though we have passed one of those "tipping points" that climate scientist talk so much about recently. The disruptions and extreme weather events this year and last point to something bad having happened. If I had to bet, I think the Arctic has flipped into a new state, and with that the Northern Hemisphere Jetstream but it could be any number of things.

The World of the Future doesn't need grand schemes of eco-cities and fanciful carbon capture machines. We already have billionaires playing games of space travel, do we need more pie in the sky? Especially when that desert is a slice of bullshit?

What it desparately needs though, is programs to insulate the homes of the poor, incentives to train the children of that same poor in the Trades and other things that help the 99% adapt to a World they are increasingly being priced out of. Will it come from those on the Top? I have my doubts.

For now on, you won't be seeing much talk here on Green Wizards about "solving" climate change. Instead look for more and more focus on mitigation and ways you can make yourself more resilient to the effects we are going to see as we go further into the Long Descent.

Sit down at the fire and let me get you a bowl of stone soup then, flavored with hope and some fresh tomatoes from the garden. Let's talk about how to help YOU.


Next week, a long delayed article by Andy Dwelly, "An Experiment In Herbalism".


This attitude is the inherent flaw in democracy. It's understanding that other people don't think like you, don't want the same things you do, yet they have a right to their own opinions, no matter how idiotic you think they are.
It's understanding that sometimes, your team loses and you have to make the best of it until the next round of elections.
It's understanding that another viewpoint is not, because it's different from yours, automatically evil.

I'm not saying that we should all be so open-minded that our brains fall out. That's not any good either.

A little empathy and understanding -- without the contempt -- would go a long way.

David Trammel's picture

I agree that the binary thinking of "Me Good, You Bad" has gotten out of hand. It particularly horrid on Facebook, where I spend too much time unfortunately. I'd ditch the whole place except there are a lot of good people looking for ways to make their situation better, that Green Wizards can help. For every dozen trolls, there is also one person like that. We've gotten several new members recently from there.

I agree, that relearning how to argue a topic is going to be an important skill going forward. I find myself watching as many videos on that, as I do on gardening and green living. Hopefully I can post a few lessons I learn here too

ClareBroommaker's picture

I think even this article is written with hyperbole. For example, "Until climate activist live the lifestyle changes they suggest to others, we're not going to see the vast majority of Americans get on board. " What? Who are these climate change activists? I don't look to "climate change activists" to decide how I am going to live my life. Who does? I'm not waiting for them to lead the way. Why would I? Is this just some other form of celebrity-based fad you are speaking of?

And what do you mean by "For now on, you won't be seeing much talk here on Green Wizards about "solving" climate change" ? Is that a declaration of a new rule for the forum? If so, isn't even that a bit of dictating ? If it is not a declaration of a new rule, then perhaps you mean it to be an observation sort of like, "oh, I see now we are not talking about solving climate change anymore." Well, I never noticed us talking about solving climate change here at all. I think the forum has been very personally focused. My household, your household, and a tiny bit my town, your town.

David Trammel's picture

LOL, sometimes on these main blog posts, I do climb up on the soapbox.

Its not a hard and fast rule for discussion but personally I think we're past trying big political pushes against climate change. Its not going to happen. So "I" will be talking about it less and focusing my blog posts on the main page away from them and towards personal actions. You and the others are welcome to keep talking on the forums about them of course.

" What? Who are these climate change activists? I don't look to "climate change activists" to decide how I am going to live my life. Who does? I'm not waiting for them to lead the way. Why would I? Is this just some other form of celebrity-based fad you are speaking of?"

Unfortunately for the vast majority, that celebrity fan worship is alive and kicking. Look at the way everyone fell over themselves when Greta Thunberg appeared on the climate scene. Those for us, like you and me who make it more personal are in the minority.

And also unfortunately, when those same celebrity activists don't walk the talk, its used to advocate against the issue. When she chose to highlight action on climate, by sailing in a multi-million dollar racing yacht instead of a merchant ship, the opposition to climate action were quick to point that out and use it. Every climate summit, where the attendees arrive in private jets is one more club to hit the issue with.

I've stopped using the climate issue as an introduction to Green Wizardry. There's so much misinformation and emotional baggage with the subject, people's minds shut when they hear it. I'm finding that leading with "So I'm retired and now poor and I'm trying to find ways to make my retirement more pleasant and healthy so have you heard about..." is working a lot better.