When I heard that organizers were encouraging people to travel to NYC for a climate march, I cringed. The greatest enemy of rational environmental and climate policies is not Senator Inhoff and his ilk. In the words of the immortal Pogo, we have met the enemy , and he is us.
In this day and age, authenticity is the only coin of the realm that is worth much in the public square. By sponsoring this march in NYC, the climate movement did major damage to itself, as noted in this editorial from today’s Oklahoman.
Sometimes I think the problem with our movement begins with the leaders, but then I remember that the leaders of a movement are reflections of those within the movement. Too many of us have a sense of narcissistic entitlement when it comes to hopping on airplanes and flying all over the world, who cares about the cost to the environment.
For several years, I have been exploring the Benedictine vow of stability. I wrote the Abbot of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek last year to apologize for not visiting them for several years. I said words to this effect — “The older I get, the more interesting and valuable the Benedictine emphasis on stability seems to me.” The Abbot wrote back, “I think John Senior would say this is a sign of increasing sanity in your life.” (John Senior being the K-State professor who was instrumental in the formation of the young men who went to France for the summer and ended up staying and becoming monks, and who then came back here in the 1990s to start a traditional Benedictine monastery, one of them being said abbot.
The more that the climate movement practices what it preaches, the more credible it will be. Likewise, the less we practice what we preach, the more hypocritical we will appear in the public square, and the less influence we will have on public policy. If we encourage people to travel across the country, and then leave a trail of trash behind us, we announce to the world that we just aren’t very serious about the situation.
Which is to say. . . everyone should think thrice before they fly anywhere. and if your life is impossible without air travel, then you should redesign your life.