I was musing this morning about why we have such an uphill battle trying to convince people who live in the cities that
- we don’t need wind and solar power to ‘clean’ up our planet
- man-made global warming is NOT happening
- climate change is natural
- the world is NOT imploding from pollution
It’s perspective. According to New Geography and Columbia University Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center’s Gridded Population of the World and the Global Rural-Urban Mapping Project, only 2.6% of the world (not including Antarctica) is covered by cities. But over 50% of the worlds population live in those cities.
Since those who live in the city perceive urban areas to be dirty and polluted (whether they are or not — that is the common belief) that must mean, by extension, that the entire rest of the 97.4% of the planet must be also.
Those who don’t live in crowded metropolises are living and breathing fresh country air and drinking clear un-chlorinated water, while their urban counterparts are breathing vehicle exhaust and drinking treated water. We watch the marches protesting climate change on the news and wonder where the hell all of this catastrophic change is happening.
For people who don’t live amongst a sea of skyscrapers and gridlock traffic, we see the variations of the seasons. We notice when the trees bud and watch them burst into leaf, and see the return of robins in the Spring. We watch the fruit trees break out in blossom and develop into fruit. We gaze overhead in the Fall as flocks of Canada Geese head south and think to ourselves that we’d better get those snow tires on the car. During the winter, we look out our windows and watch the wind blowing the snow across the fields, while we’re tucked cozily inside with a hot cup of coffee.
People who live in the city don’t see these changes in nature quite to the extent that the rest of the world does. No matter what time of year it is, their main view is still buildings and traffic. They don’t have that inner connection to the planet…that instinctual awareness of all the little nuances and signs that the earth and its climate are never stagnant, never rigid, but in a constant never-ending state of change.
This is probably why it’s so difficult to get our politicians who make these ridiculous green energy policies to hear our voices. They also work and live in these concrete mazes and thus have the same girdled view.
It might also explain the new study out by Purdue University which shows a huge divide between farmers and scientists over whether climate change is caused by man or not.
Urban areas take our aggregates, our produce, our farm-raised meat, our trees for lumber and in exchange they want us to be their energy slaves via wind turbines and solar facilities, their garbage dumps and stewards of their weekend vistas. They will argue that they send us subsidies via taxes and therefore we should be happy with this arrangement. It’s also the reason they can not understand why we would be bothered over 500 foot industrial machines cluttering up the countryside. To them, it’s still better than what they have, although no one forces them to live in the city, unlike rural areas that have these monolithic electricity generators forced upon them.
So our monumental task isn’t so much fighting wind developers and insanely expensive and ineffective policies that want to ‘stop’ climate change. It’s getting the people who live in 2.6% of the earths area to realize that the rest of the planet is not as polluted and filthy as they perceive it to be.