Ask Dr. Babooner

We are ALL Dr. Babooner

Dear Dr. Babooner,

I admit I have earned a reputation for being a pest about climate change,  but only because I am 100% committed to changing hearts and minds on this before it is too late!

It’s true, I can get a little intense.

Even people who agree with me have asked that I tone down the rhetoric because they don’t want to hear about global warming all the time!  So  I’ve really forced myself to try to enjoy ordinary things, like going to a football game on a Sunday afternoon.

Yesterday I kept my mouth shut about car exhaust as a friend and I rode to the stadium in his enormous SUV, and bit my lip rather than speak up about the carbon footprint of charcoal grills as we tailgated and had some brats before kickoff.

When we were making our way to the gate I looked up at the stadium and saw an incredibly bright and unbelievably large scoreboard.  High above the field the lights were on, even though it was well before noon! It took all my strength to NOT calculate the amount of coal that was probably being burned at that moment just to make it all possible.

When I realized that this wastefulness was directed at pleasing the fans, I wondered  what would happen if the folks in the bleachers demanded that their teams institute Earth-friendly practices around the games they finance?

Suddenly I saw a large group of chanting people marching with protest signs and my spirits rose – I thought I was witnessing the dawn of the Eco-football movement.  But no! I admit I was just a little bit disappointed when I found out all the commotion was only about human rights.

Dr. Babooner, when I think about the ramifications of a warming Earth and the consequences of our greenhouse-gas-producing behavior, I usually get upset and say something dire, which typically causes these reactions:

  1. The people who disagree with me turn belligerent.
  2. The people who agree with me get depressed.
  3. Ultimately nothing changes.
  4. I’m tired of warning people all the time and seeing that they are not alarmed enough. How can I make my point in a way that will make a difference?

Earnestly,
Cassandra

I told Cassandra that in my opinion, being earnest about important issues usually does not endear one to the masses. I suggested she devote her energy to becoming a celebrity in one field or another – music, movies, sports, etc. Once famous, she should market her low carbon lifestyle as a commodity and people will fall in line – not because they want to save the planet, but because they want to be as cool as she is. Which would ultimately make the whole Earth cooler!

But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?

37 thoughts on “Ask Dr. Babooner”

  1. Good morning. Cassandra, I am more or less like you. I’m sure some people are tired of hearing me talk about climate change. Both of us should tone down our rhetoric when we can see that we are not doing any good. To be more effective at talking about climate change, you can join a group of people who share your concerns about this issue.

    Become an activist! March in demonstrations! Carry signs! Organize! You will have a lot more things to tell people regarding climate change which probably will also bore them. At least you will have some new friends who don’t think what you have to say on this topic is boring and you will be reaching out to people who may actually want to hear more about climate change.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure you are already doing this Cassandra – lead by example. Show your friends, colleagues, neighbors how easy it is to take small steps that can help. Don’t be insufferable while you do it, do not badger, lecture or get on your high horse. When friends come to dinner, get out your best cloth napkins (don’t make a fuss about it unless they ask why you don’t use disposable), if someone asks about your hybrid car don’t natter on about its mileage – talk about how much you can haul in it or how fun it is to drive, talk about the fabulously delicious apples you picked up at the market not about their reduced carbon footprint because they are organic and local. Small steps. People can handle small steps. So long as you aren’t self-important or overly strident, your pals may find a few things they can start to do, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. All you can do is all you can do, so lead by example, reduce your carbon footprint, then share with people about the money you’ve saved by conserving. Like Jim says, become an activist the way he suggests, but also donate to nonprofits that promote conservation, and lobby Congress to eliminate oil subsidies so all energy sources compete on a level playing field

    I’ve long advocated with regard to all natural resource activities like drilling for oil, mining minerals, generating power, etc., that prices should reflect the “real cost”, meaning the cost to ensure that the activity has no net negative impact on the ecology. Gas prices would then include the cost of eliminating all pollution that results from obtaining and producing the energy, empty mines are returned to a state of no pollution of groundwater, etc., one tree is planted for every tree harvested, etc. Nuclear waste will be disposed of in whatever manner necessary to guarantee safety from radiation, and nuclear power plants will become 99.99999% safe, with multiple redundancies built into their systems

    Only then will all energy sources compete on an equal footing. Wind and solar, especially,.will become extremely cheap by comparison, entrepreneurs will flock to the industry like lemmings, and hopefully we’ll solve the energy issue and move on to greater aspirations.

    It may be too late to prevent climate change–assuming we believe that it’s a bad thing. Maybe it will be bad, maybe the warming will have unseen benefits overall. From what I understand, even if we stopped all carbon dioxide emissions/production immediately, it would take decades for any reversal of global warming to happen.

    And it’s safe to say that the vast majority of us are not willing to revert to a primitive lifestyle with no electricity, no fossil fuel usage, no mass production of cheap, easy to obtain food, no computers, TVs, iPhones, etc., in order to achieve that goal. We prefer to talk the talk rather than walk the walk. I’m just as guilty as anyone. So the better strategy is to prepare for whatever climate comes our way in the future and deal with those problems and/or take advantage of the new opportunities that might occur.

    Chris in Owatonna
    (who’s feeling rather long-winded early on a Monday. Imagine that.) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s really interesting I knew nothing about what a lemming looks like or what the lemming story was I knew the expression but didn’t realize that’s what they were doing when they jumped
        or that they omitted suicide
        interesting

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      2. Why not give it a try? Only trouble is, they only seem to jump off the cliffs once in a while, when the population gets to big for the habitat, I understand. Not even remotely as reliable as wind power, unfortunately. But great when you want a power surge, I guess. 🙂

        I checked Wikipedia and there is some doubt about the mass suicide claims. Even the Disney documentary (from which I think this clip came) is purported to have been staged for the cameras and over dramatized. The Wiki info is interesting:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemming

        Chris in Owatonna

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  4. Morning all. As I recall, the original Cassandra didn’t come to a very nice end – hopefully this one can find a good balance.

    Of course, the way she describes the ballpark is exactly how I feel about Las Vegas.

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  5. I had a very “thoughty” sort of weekend, which is even more intereting when I consider I spent 32 of the available 49 hours at a desk doing some pretty menial stuff–so bear with me:

    Cassandra, you will never really “change” the world.

    The best thing to do is live your principals fully and find joy in doing so. Be decent to whoever is next to you.

    If people want to know the secret to your happiness and serenity, they will start the conversation.

    We are all only here a very short time no matter what we do. Let’s not make it harder than it has to be.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Except that’s not what folks at bp or General Motors does
      They pay huge lobbying teams to allow their personal interests to flourish
      We need aarp for hippies harp where we support the places that make good choices
      Start it up and see how it grows. Never know maybe Clinton Obama, Branson, gates and the like could lead the lemmings to follow to good choices
      Harp for fixing the world instead of waiting til later

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  6. While I admire mig’s thoughtful comments, my perspective has to be a little different. I have witnessed total reversals of bad thinking on two social issues (gay rights and drunk driving), so I know a society can change its thinking in fundamental ways. And I had the experience of advocating a position that was reversed, namely the Vietnamese war. When I began campaigning against it almost all Americans supported the war. And then one day they did not.

    That’s the good news about social change. It can happen. The bad news is that it happens slowly. Those of us who opposed that war had to flail away without much encouragement for over a decade. That’s a long time. And that tends to make a person shrill. In the end, Americans didn’t reject the war because I rejected it; they changed their thinking when Walter Cronkite discovered he couldn’t support the war. But I fear we cannot turn to Walter Cronkite now to get average citizens to question their lifestyles.

    That brings us back to mig and her conviction that we should strive for harmony in our lives and hope others notice. It is a gentle way or working social change, but gentle persuasion worked for Gandhi and others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m in the middle of MiG and Steve here. While I absolutely agree that society can change (even in this arena, think about how much recycling was happening just 20 years ago), I don’t think you should live your life trying to change society. You just have to live your life. And hopefully set a good example for those around you. Unfortunately for our planet this is a process that requires patience…..

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      1. I think mother earth takes the long view. If we are incapable of living sustainably, there are other species ready to move in and take over (just ask Bart and the cockroaches).

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    2. In my experience, a great deal change regarding gay rights has been accomplished by loving families living everyday lives that were every bit as good as those experienced by families where everyone is presumed to be straight.

      I will grant that it does take vocal advocates pointing out that the playing field is not level to get people interested in making it so.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. What bothers me, Steve, is that while the war in Viet Nam did come to an end at least partly due to the efforts of activist, that effort wasn’t followed by additional political action needed to make important lasting changes. I don’t want to go crazy over this. However, I am afraid that following the end of the Viet Nam war the policies that brought about that war didn’t change and we continue to go down a bad path.

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      1. That’s a good point, Jim. You correctly assert that the war was “just” a manifestation of a larger error in thinking about Asia, global politics and the ability of war to work good changes. But if something deeper was not changed by the decision to pull out of Vietnam, at least we did stop that war. I don’t consider that a small thing.

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  7. And completely OT here. Thanks to everyone who volunteered to help dig up the lilies. I had a nice long conversation with the forestry guy and although the lilies won’t actually be in any danger until the spring, the he thought it would be safer to move them now. So yesterday I got nice and dirty… planted some bulbs, got all the yard furniture put away, took down all the dead flower baskets and MOVED THE LILIES! I’m as sore as sore can be today.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. OT Liam update. I’ve written before about his habit of striking up conversations with strangers. Yesterday he and I were in a large grocery store. Liam overhead me saying that our checkout person was a trainee. Liam asked her, “How long have you done this job?” Two days, she said. “Well,” said Liam, “you can tell them that you are doing well. I think you are doing a great job!” Ponder for a moment how many four-year-olds would say such a thing. We left her with a big grin on her face.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t understand this kid, Dale. When I was a kid I assumed adults were grown up and complete; it never would have occurred to me that they would be delighted to be complimented by a four-year-old. And nobody told Liam that this trainee was trying to please “them” (her managers) so she could keep her job. Nobody said that to him. He just knew it was so or intuited it somehow.

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  9. l’m afraid that my own reputation precedes me. Whenever l express an opinion on a big issue, whomever l’m talking to says, “Of course you would say that” or “You’ve been drinking the liberal kool aide again”. My own daughter, a moderate democrat, won’t even discuss any major issue with me because, “You’re so fanatical and left wing that l won’t discuss this with you.

    l suppose that showing up at a Halloween party dressed as an Obama yard sign didn’t help?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sad day in our family.Tom Magliozzi died. If you don’t know, he was either Click or Clack. I have never known which Tappet Brother was which. He was a family favorite.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. He can now go meet his dodge dart in the sky. Up there even Meg’s run fine. They said on the show that this coming year would be the last then hey would take them to reruns” the news clips say his last show was taped in 2012 and his Alzheimer’s is what killed him. Life will get you no matter who you are, enjoy what you’ve got while you’ve got it. Tommy did a great job of that for himself and made it possible for so many of us”
    I could never remember last weeks puzzler either.

    Liked by 1 person

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