The Climate Adventure. What would you give up to take it?

We take the announcements to ourselves so lightly when we decide on an adventure, that most of the plans related to them are left in that vague limbo that we always think we will come back. Sometimes we do. Yet when it comes to the climate adventure, when we are about to pick it up from this so-called limbo, most of the time, something nudges our mind to the other side. 

In general, compromise is hard, either starting a diet, leaving a lousy job, or changing cities… maybe changing friends? As there is something that we will be leaving behind… even if it’s a fake sense of security coming from monthly checks, that nevertheless pays the bills, and that has an enormous value in the end.

To jump on this climate adventure, what would we be relinquishing? It’s key to realize the importance of that relationship, like the lousy job and monthly checks, to understand what I need to receive in exchange to pick up the wild adventure-as wild as commuting by train could be-from limbo and don’t drop it back. Perhaps what we request in exchange is more emotional for some, and more economical for others. Or a mix between them.

The answer of that is defined by many parameters, but there is one in particular I want to bring up as it seems to outshine the others, and that is … and this could be the topic for another discussion, that the value we assign to “the left behind” is skewed by generation. For me this doesn’t make any sense, it’s not like Boomers are done with this and leaving for Mars tomorrow.

It’s hard to explain which generations have benefitted the most from the Industrial Revolutions and millions of spilled gallons of oil in the Oceans, yet as the Zs just started their lifecycle, it is very reasonable to assume that what is remaining in their time on Earth may be “slightly” different than to their predecessors, while breathing highly polluted air and under more frequent heat waves. And this is not a simple assumption, it’s already like this. And not getting better. What excuse later as a society will we use to justify this… penicillin?

But reality is that we don’t know if Boomers and Xs would have polluted more than Zs in their complete lifecycles. None is over yet. And Zs buy at Shein at a proportion differently than any the other previous generation (what a double standard, right?), and they also love crypto and Snapchat-and those snaps don’t come clean.

We are in this burning pan together, and the next 20 years will be hell no matter what generation you belong to, so X or Z should not be a factor in evaluating your decision to a cleaner lifestyle. And if we all think that “my” action is worthless and that somebody else would do it anyway, or that the responsibility should rely upon Big Corp, well good luck with that… I don’t see Exxon or Chevron shutting down their refineries any time soon. If we want action, then we must start it ourselves.

So, what are we leaving behind to join the ride? It’s a personal question that belongs to a personal answer. There has to be something that matters personally that triggers the willingness to trade, perhaps the fires, or the pain from news of people dying in heat waves or mudslides. Maybe that good-citizen pride. All these seem quite reasonable to sit down and “assess” the value of what is left behind and what we require to leave it and not look back. If how you value your current carbon-emitting products is low, lucky you; and if it’s high, it’s fine, you may want to use credits or installments. Ladybug steps are ok. Change is always hard… and so are EV price tags.

I am the only person I know who doesn’t eat fish as a protest against the fishing industry and its permanent damage to our oceans. I am that friend. But I think I bring more to the table to my friends and family, so I assume that when I talk about it, they just take it. I personally don’t miss fish and it makes me so happy that I can do something about it. No matter how insignificant. So now I’m adding other things.  

There is so much we can do, and so little we compromise, and there is nothing wrong with that: many small compromises will come up as the biggest adventure of all time.


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