Fear’s Role in Climate Change Issues

Fear. It is a simple emotion. It is a feeling. But it can also create something complicated — in what it makes us think and do. Fear drives many decisions in the world, and may often cause us to make the wrong decision.

The important thing is realizing the difference between thoughtful awareness of negative ramifications and the actual feeling of fear.

On the following pages, I delve into the relationship between fear and the climate change decisions we are making everyday on individual and larger systematic levels. Additionally, I delve a little more into the issue of fear itself.

A close friend of mine who I hadn’t seen for a very long time said something to me last year which I think is very profound.

He said, “Never make a decision based on fear.”


I took that and made one of the biggest decisions of my life, one that I had been hesitating to make due to fear. The things I had been fearful of ended up dissolving within a few weeks of making the decision. The path cleared for me, but only after I cleared out fear from my decision-making.

This is an individual example, but it is something that has triggered more and more thought within me around this issue.

Recently (or within the past couple months), a few things have brought this issue (fear) into my mind yet again.

  • Gerard Vaughan

    Back in ’69, I decided to jump-across a fissure in the granite rocks of the Cornish coaast at Tintagel. I doubt that I shall ever see the place again to check, but as I recall, it looked JUST-about possible to remain un-smashed-up on the rocks and sea 100 foot below – if I got my maths and physics right, and didn’t “blow it” The gap was about 6 feet and the other side about 2 feet lower. I cannot recall checking to see if there was any way back, should I still be in a position to need it !
    Yes, Maths and Physics – whatever they are / that is – maybe better than fear. Or not, as the case / inquest, may be.

  • http://www.capitansalsa.com Josue The Captain Cano

    What a great article. Personally, i’m a vegetarian and for reasons mentioned in the article. Yes, it is true that by eating less meat or no meat at all your impact on the environment becomes less. Thank you for mentioning that. Also, don’t forget about the ice levels in the poles. They are going down.

  • http://nonpropro.org JOY

    I have made decisions based upon fear(s) which have benefitted me greatly, without ramifications upon others. I feel/fear that logical/knowledge is a comprehensive meter that gauges a gauge. Bottom line, I fear 2012 has merit and this is prior to my finding out about the calendar – and I fear 2012 is a gauge.

  • http://www.stumbleupon.com/favorites/reviews/ Wavehunter

    Love the article. And I agree with Josue that it’s good you mentioned meat. The official line is that the meat industry contributes 18% of greenhouse gases, but a recent article by those-in-the-know suggests the true figure may be 51%.

    As well as fear, climate change is a collective action problem. To beat it we need to act together, which means we need to be organised. It makes little difference whether I drive a Hummer; it makes a lot of difference whether we all do. Thus we need to force our governments to coerce us into making the right decisions. Otherwise we’ll die waiting for someone else act.

  • Patricia

    Thank you for the thoughtful article Zachery. I agree with Wavehunter’s above post; we all need to work together. I also agree that most people will not make sacrifices without government intervention of some kind. As far as meat consumption, quite a few prominent intellects have commented on the derogatory effect of eating our fellow creatures. Albert Einstein being one of them of course; I don’t have much hope of that changing in my lifetime.

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