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Have you had the Climate Change Casual Conversation? I have had it three times with three different people, involuntarily, over the last two months. And I do not have a lot of casual conversations because I generally keep to myself.
The first one happened in an AT&T phone store. I was sitting next to an elderly lady and she turned to me and declared (politely) that we are doing things to ruin the planet. She did not mention climate change but I knew what she meant. Maybe she thought I would ask her what she did mean, but I did not want to hear the boilerplate climate “emergency” garbage that is so ubiquitous today. I did not respond though in retrospect I should have mentioned that her cell phone contained rare earth metals and that extracting them from the ground was hurting the environment. But I didn’t. It was a casual conversation after all.
My latest Climate Change Casual Conversation was with a Board member of our organization. We were at our own fundraiser and this was my first opportunity to get to know him. We were concerned about the weather. Our fundraiser is held outside and the weather had been bad for quite a while. I have to take responsibility for allowing him to bring up the subject of climate change because I mentioned the weather. I opened the door to a Climate Change Casual Conversation. It is not a good idea to talk about the weather with some people. Weather becomes climate in conversations much quicker than in nature.
I mentioned to him that a low-pressure system had stalled off the coast and had been sending us a lot of rain. He then tried to explain to me in a pseudo-scientific way that climate change caused this to happen. You would think that it never happened before, but of course, it had — many times. There was nothing unusual about low pressures hanging around off the coast. Even if it had been unusual, it would not mean that climate change had anything to do with it. But once again I did not respond. I did not tell him that in some northern climes grapes grew and wine was made during the Middle Ages but that you cannot do that today because it is too cold.
Oh, I believe that the climate changing. In fact, I believe it has always changed. It seems to go in cycles over hundreds of years. But I did not tell him that because, after all, it was a casual conversation.
Beware the Climate Change Casual Conversation.Published in