Issues hard to follow.

Scrolling through the news this morning I came across an article outlining a new package of legislation regarding climate change. As I began to wade through the morass of details about the potential bill I could feel my eyes glazing over and my attention being sapped by anything and everything else. The feeling that took over must be the most powerful tool in Washington: making the average person feel like they aren’t smart enough to understand the details of a bill.

This feeling is insidious. It immediately makes me want to check out and just assume that any action with the words “billions” and “climate change” that is generally affirmative in tone is a step in the right direction. But this could just be a trick of the language.

Will I read the entire text of this proposal? Hell no.
Should I? Probably.

I know that the puppets in Washington are banking on this complacency. Given the very clear and present dangers of a recession and inflation, the climate feels like a problem completely out of reach to me. How can I possibly spare figurative energy to contribute to a conversation about the literal energy problem?

This makes me wonder how many times I have had to make this trade off in my adult life. The amount of cultural disturbances that have occurred in my lifetime is significant. There has been pain and suffering on a societal level. Every time it feels like we have reached an all-time low, the bottom drops out and we plummet further. Just making it through day to day life can feel like a struggle. Knowing that the climate will eventually kill all of us just looms as the unavoidable leviathan that we have created..

Could we all do more to help? Sure. The cost for doing so will be our lives and livelihoods. The agreement many of us in is one with print too fine to read. We were sold the idea that the people in charge had our interests in mind when we elected them.

Any amount of observation during an election year (Like this one…) proves this idea is sleight of hand. Get in power, stay in power, make your money, and repeat until you can’t win the popularity contest any more or you can retire comfortably. It is a world completely insulated from the real one the rest of us experience. This false sense of security occasionally gets disturbed and it feels like change is coming through traditionally violent channels, but then we all concede again.

As I left the article in question behind in favor of more interesting matters, I felt this concession keenly. It felt as though I was conceding a planet, because in some far flung sense, I was. The idea that we might accelerate to some inevitable cataclysm seems like a foregone conclusion. Our arrogance knows no bounds. But the planet is a living thing and will fight to survive. We will just be another casualty in a decorated history of trial and error.

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