By Laurie Stone
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—comprised of the world’s leading climate scientists—recently released an alarming report stating we have only 12 years to keep the warming of our planet under 1.5°C, before climate change creates havoc for hundreds of millions of people. Meanwhile, President Trump has finally admitted that he believes in climate change, but doesn’t necessarily believe it’s human caused, and added that “it will change back again.”
So, should we work as hard as we can to transition to clean energy, which will not only keep the warming of our planet from rising too quickly, but will also lead to security, resilience, and health? Most of you probably think the answer is a resounding yes. But there are actually reasons not to support a transition to clean energy. Outside of being a climate-change denier, here are 10 reasons not to support the clean energy transition.
- You’re tired of snow.
Shoveling the driveway, scraping your windshield, putting on your winter boots—you’re tired of all that. Sure, there are some people who actually like skiing and a white Christmas, but that’s not for you. And think of how much time you will save on your next winter flight without the need to de-ice the plane.
- You don’t ever want to enjoy a nice glass of wine or a cold beer.
As climate change and droughts make it harder for breweries to get the ingredients they need to make beer and shorten the grape-harvesting season, prices go up and production goes down. This will make it much easier to not indulge in that alcoholic beverage that you might be craving.
- You want to give up coffee.
And speaking of cravings, it might be harder to get some of our favorite foods such as chocolate, coffee, avocados, and almonds. Have you been trying for years to cut out coffee and chocolate? Climate change can help with that, as those crops will just get harder to grow.
- You love the smell of gasoline.
Who doesn’t love to pull up to a gas station and smell that sweet odor of benzene, the stuff that boosts gasoline’s octane rating? Pulling up to an electric vehicle charging station, with its lack of odors and its sanitary oil-free atmosphere is just not the same.
- You don’t care about animals.
So polar bears are disappearing. It’s not like you ever wanted to have one as a pet. In fact, you don’t even know what a Bramble Cay melomys is, the first mammal to go extinct due to climate change. If you want to see animals, you can tune in to Animal Planet. Of course, it might eventually be all reruns.
- You have too much money in your bank account.
Is all that money burning a hole in your pocket? Climate change will negatively affect our economic productivity and reshape the global economy. In a 23 percent poorer world, you will have less sleepless nights wondering what to do with all that extra money.
- You need to use up your health deductible.
The more polluted our air, the more respiratory problems, heart disease, eye irritation, and asthma we endure. Each visit to the doctor means you’re one step closer to reaching your deductible. And who doesn’t want to get to that deductible limit to know that your next doctor visit is covered?
- You love mosquitoes.
Can’t sleep without that buzz of a mosquito in your ear? Do you love getting those nice itchy mosquito bites all over your body? And do you find traveling more thrilling with a higher risk of malaria or West Nile virus? You’re in luck because climate change is creating more mosquito-friendly habitats.
- You hate flying.
You’ve always had a fear of flying, hate those long security lines, and can easily do without turbulence. Well, climate change might make air travel costlier and cause more flight cancellations. Just the excuse you need not to visit your relatives.
- You’ve always wanted to have a tomato farm in Siberia.
OK, maybe you won’t be able to grow tomatoes, but climate change will make it easier to grow crops in Siberia. Sure, the permafrost might turn into inhospitable bogs, but if you’ve always wanted to get away from it all and live off the land in a sparsely populated place, Siberia might be the place for you.
So next time you find yourself with the urge to turn off that light or install a solar system on your house, remember these 10 reasons, and enjoy the warming planet while we still have something to enjoy.
Laurie Stone actually does not support these ten reasons and works to promote a clean energy future at Rocky Mountain Institute.