I entered the blogosphere a little more than a year ago. Being relatively good within an informed debate, where the parties involved adhere to certain rules for the sake of achieving greater understanding and clarity on a subject , I was ill-prepared for what greeted me.
It’s easy here to continue on and explain just how irrational and unreasonable the tone of the AGW debate is and to talk of the merry-go-round antics of self-proclaimed “climate change sceptics”. But this subject has already been covered at length and each one of us here now have weathered enough of this so-called “debate” to make such an article meaningless.
Been there, done that…
Instead, I’d like to cover another aspect of this political nonsense which continues to bug me, and I suspect many readers. I refer to the demonization of proactive thinking.
The initial example for me is a response Mike received to an article, where he had embedded a film of Melbourne flooding that he had recorded with his mobile . The commenter smugly retorted that the creation of his phone left a fair sized carbon footprint.
Similarly, a spammed commenter here (he did not adhere to the policy rules ), through much the same demonization, lead to me indulging in Hathos ; I simply couldn’t help but reply to his posts, that I stupidly scrolled through after being made aware of his existence. Apart from many of the older, indeed laughable, denial lines (ie. that there has been no warming in over a decade) and a few newer lies (ie. that Australia just experienced its coldest winter on record), he’s overall tone was venomous and, at least for me, addictive.
He accused those concerned about climate change as being divorced from reality, tree hugging yuppies who would, if they truly believed climate change to be real and the result of human activity, prove it by committing suicide to reduce their carbon footprint to zero (another inaccuracy on his behalf; decomposition releases methane).
How on Earth could I overlook this insulting behaviour? He also seemed to have a problem with innovation and technology, which begged for my reply…
A number of trolls have used similar tactics in response to my early articles, which of course spurred a reply from me. Not only is it wrong, it’s highly personal in its assumptions of my character and therefore incredibly difficult to leave alone.
Welcome to my 2010; wasted on entertaining the deniers. Unfortunately, through my own actions in musing over this new troll, I fell into it again.
As Mike explained previously, he also spent much of 2010 responding to similar denial and it left him burnt out and depressed; a feeling I felt as well following my own dance with denial. Yet, the denial machine continues without a reduction in pace, as it ever has done; never in need of evidence and apathetic to the effect such slurs have those in their firing range.
I’ve since learnt that, as with the so-called “debate”, the response we give to the demonization of proactive thinking isn’t heard by these people; they’re nothing but a deaf insult hurling machine.
How else could many of them (this character I’ve recently stumbled upon and Donna Laframboise  for example) continue to spout that their right to free speech is being undermined by a “green movement” when it’s blatantly obvious that the media promotes the views of certain hack journalists over respected and highly qualified scientists on the matter of climate change ? The public’s view on climate change, when compared to the trained experts exemplifies this fact.
It was the growing wave of denial around Copenhagen that inspired me to enter the blogosphere and I am happy to admit that I have been slow in working out just what it is that I’m doing here.
I know now that I’m not interested in convincing the self-proclaimed “sceptics” – hell, I’m not even interested in conversing with them at all. They have constructed a safe delusion that it is they who are open-minded, simply waiting for evidence enough to be convinced (while not demanding the same level of information about the workings of an internal combustion engine, a jet engine, cancer treatment (any medical treatment, to be honest), electronics, water treatment, agriculture… etc etc etc.. but happy to use them all the same).
I’m not here to educate either; I have some ideas, but those have been brewing within me from a concoction of information I learnt from various places. At best, I like to bounce ideas around and see how they grow.
I’m not here for the fight or with the presumption that I have the answers.
I’m here simply as another forward thinker who wants to share my own experiences and to help re-energise others who have also been left burnt out and disheartened after what is without a doubt a powerful machine of misinformation and disillusionment.
I’m here for readers like you.
Is a mother a “hair-shirt green” because she comes to a conclusion that a small veggie patch or permaculture set up is the best way she can ensure cheap, healthy fresh produce for her children? Is a father a “hippy” because he decides the best way to encourage his children to be active is to walk them to school rather than drive the SUV the few blocks? Is the young professional a blinkered “yuppie” because they refuse to own a car, preferring to cycle or use public transport for their activities?
Should any of us be demonized because we’d like to consume less or for questioning finite energy dependence or growth economies?
Of course not.
It’s through devaluing our ideas and principles, rather than rationally discrediting them (I’m very open to valid, constructive criticism and new ways to look at issues) such people pretend to win an argument without even addressing it. What they’re doing is a street corner magic trick that relies on exploiting a core instinct of self-worth. It’s a mugs game.
None of us here want to deconstruct the developed world – for we well and truly appreciate the standard of living that we have achieved – no, what we want to do is strengthen it! We want to see our urban landscapes ever more resilient to adverse weather. We want to feel certain that when we do our food shopping, what we want to buy will be there, that it will be high quality and it will be nutritious for ourselves and our children. We want to know that we can buy a house without sacrificing huge portions of our income to the mortgage, energy requirements and maintenance. We want better working hours so that we can have a better work/life balance. We want to know that our transport costs are not going to suddenly and forever increase, leaving us many kilometres away from basic goods and services with the subsequent costs, because supply is failing to meet demand (ie. peak oil).
We’re not crazed “lefties”, “greenies”, “yuppies”, “tree huggers”, “hippies” or whatever else names such people wish to label us; we’re just citizens that realise carbon age is running on empty and left one huge mess in its wake. That’s all.
This is my motivation behind developing Generation Adaptation. We spend so much time wasted on the brick wall of hopeless denial and it only brings us down. Denial is a well oiled machine and we cannot hope to tackle it head on with reason. The last year and a half has made it clear that political will is fleeting on these issues – leaving those of us who are already engaged on the problems facing this century, well, high and dry. It’s through establishing a global community, where we can share ideas, highlight excellent examples of innovation, introduce the right citizens with the right organisations, advocacy groups and industries (industries committed to genuine “greenwashing”  are encouraged to get on board), there is hope that we can start the shift at the community level.
In short, my view of Gen[A] is about reminding us that we’re are simply your average citizens. We’ve tried to engage with the self-proclaimed “sceptics” and it got us nowhere. The media have stirred the nonsense up even further, so much so that you have some bloggers wishing people like us would kill ourselves.
Enough’s enough, I say.
If they genuinely want to learn about the subject, we have more than 400+ recent scientific papers that have stood up to the critical eye of peer-review linked to on this site alone. If they know of a fatal flaw in the theory of AGW or with peak oil, let them submit it to the experts for critiquing, as any scientist must do and if it continues to stand up, I’m all ears.
Until that happens, let us open up an intelligent and constructive dialogue away from the political noise, where we can discuss our options without being demonized for thinking beyond our generation.
 Diethelm and McKee (2009)
 The long reach of Yasi, Melbourne flash flooding: WtD captured footage of Chapel Street flooding
 Comment policy
 Hathos: Fuel for the Climate Debate and Bolt’s Pay Cheque?
 Donna Laframboise and Cloud Screaming
 Lessons in hyperbolic gestures
 How Greenwashing Really Can Make a Difference