Air pollution envelopes a city near mountains.

The ‘I can’t afford it’ excuse on the climate emergency is growing old

Yup, climate action starts here, with you and us actually doing things differently! [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]
You know what?

I often do not believe people when they claim — “It’s too expensive for me to do X, Y, or Z, to change what I am doing to reduce my impact on global heating,” e.g. “I can’t afford an electric car, I can’t afford to add solar, I can’t afford to eat less red meat,” etc.

What they are so often really saying is: “I’m not willing to spend more money to change my ways to stave off a HUMAN AND NATURAL DISASTER because I am TOO COMFORTABLE in my current way of life. And I’d rather continue to live that way REGARDLESS of the consequences on me, other humans and living beings, both now and in the future.”

YES, this is really what they ARE saying and doing, and, yes, I DO COUNT many of my friends and colleagues and neighbors among this group!

You COULD afford to spend more, and push some more of your money toward slowing this unfolding DISASTER, but you choose not to do so.

You choose not to because you do not want to spend your money on climate mitigation. You want to spend it on what you are doing now and the way you are living now!

You might feel guilty about that and therefore try to create cover for yourself by claiming that, “I cannot afford to do A, B or C.”

Protestors at a Denver, Colo. Climate Strike in Sept. 2019. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]
BUT the truth is so often otherwise: You are choosing to prioritize your status quo way of living because changing it is more expensive — but not unaffordable if you shift some of your money toward different things — in the short term in many, NOT ALL, cases over changing some of what you do in order to do what is right for the future of humanity.

So, please stop with all of the COVER MY ASS AND EGO claims that “I cannot afford to do it.”!

Please take a closer look at whether this is REALLY true if you were willing to shift your life priorities and spend some of your money in CRUCIAL WAYS to help reduce SEVERE disaster and death if too many people who could afford to do more things if they changed their (selfish) priorities fail to make urgently needed changes ASAP.

Yes, there are some people who truly cannot afford to make any changes. But frankly, I don’t know very many people like this because those people are almost uniformly from outside of the globally comparatively privileged middle and upper middle class people I know, and of which I, myself, am a part.

The TRUTH = You CAN afford to change many things if you use your money differently: You are just not willing to do so, because you are choosing to prioritize things in your life other than addressing the climate disaster.