Is the Climate Crisis putting a tax on your relationships?

The worst tax of all is taxing our crucial relationships to the breaking point

People are very polarized, as you notice each day now. One ever-widening division is about climate.

We cannot escape the biggest carbon elephant to ever enter a room

At home, at the office, at the store, in your business dealings, it is difficult to breach certain topics. But, you should anyway. Challenging times make these issues impossible to ignore for much longer.

After all, your business and all of your relationships are all affected by these issues. When I visited the mainland recently, my sister, (who I love) said some pretty scary stuff about her non belief in the climate crisis, among other controversial topics. She also knows that her god hates homosexuality, for one, and #Me too is threatening manhood.

But, the main topic was climate change.

People are defensive about “man made” climate change because the implication is that we are all guilty. People can’t face the idea of being blamed, and in fact, they shouldn’t.

The carbon elephant comes trumpeting into the room, and the room is everywhere.

Dialogue, and your ability to have opinions in a safe place matters. We need to talk about important things, even when we disagree. In fact, you can feel more empowered when you speak up, especially about those issues that flash a wave of visceral discomfort over you.

Yes, we are all guilty of some of the world’s toxic use of toxic fuel, but we need to join one another in finding the one billion plus ways to work together for a more harmonious climate in every sense.

Certainly, some are more guilty than others, but this is victim blaming. As in the opiate crisis, the many, many dead were judged for their habits, and often, their “culture” for far too long. Let’s point the finger instead at the dealers.

It is the dealers of the world, often politicians as well as plutocrats, who profit most, literally, from our addiction to fossil fuels. It was recently revealed that the top twenty polluting corporations of the world not only grow rich on toxic fuel, they are the origin of fully one third of all greenhouse gases spewing into your air each and every day.

Not only that, but they actively played crucial roles in the divide you see today. By undermining the science and blowing the smoke of confusion over public understanding, they have poisoned the well of human discourse, all the while that they poison the planet.

Industry, and business itself, is changing, and your ideas and creativity are needed now more than ever.

We have to sit down together, listen, care, and love one another

All this denial and all this dirty stuff is the real reason you are afraid to sit down at the table with your Aunt Mary, and racist, Uncle Bob. It may well be the reason you avoid certain people at work, or just tune out, when they speak up.

Just as I could not argue with my denier sister, I could bring up facts that are indisputable, and we agreed that pollution and extinction can be curtailed. These truths emerged even though I reluctantly agreed that : We are all going to die, Jesus beckons beyond (for some) and climate change and extinction are inevitable. (I had to bite my words back about the un matched accelerated pace and unprecedented billions in human population truth of current factors.)

Racism, sexism, inequality, disproportionate wealth, and climate justice are related. These issues polarize us, because we instantly feel the sting of defensiveness, and the need to aim a dagger of blame at “the others” who just don’t get it. Yet, this is exactly when we have to talk even more openly to those whose opinions you cannot yet understand. And then speak up about your own truth.

As more and more refugees flee from even “hotter next year,” California, or beyond our borders, we must open up our homes and hearts, or risk hate and world war. Dealing up front with people and polluters is the only wise investment.

The IMF is proposing a higher tax on carbon. But this alone may not lift up real victims and provide empowerment. We can’t just tax those least responsible, working people dependent on energy to buy all that plastic wrapped food.

We must demand world leadership to provide solutions, but at the same time, discussion with those you love might reveal other answers and ideas that unite you and yours to do more than you think you can.

In some applications, a carbon tax will help, but we need to have input and fairness. It’s really, really important to our civilization that we unite to co-create a better world. And, that’s why you have to keep love and conversation alive at the Thanksgiving Day Table, as well as in the Boardroom.

Ecopsychologist, Writer, Farmer, Defender of reality, and Cat Castle Custodian.

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