It is funny how glory and evil can be so firmly intermingled in one word… don’t you think?
In a conversation with Mum today I found myself uttering something along the lines of the following: “As soon as one feels self-righteous (which I often do) rather than that the world is full of differing opinions and perhaps they all have equal merit… then perhaps one is leaning toward extremism.”
I DO feel self-righteous about many of my opinions. And I feel that I can support my opinions with much evidence and good reasoning. Assuming those claims are true, then I feel safe in setting my self-righteousness apart from other self-righteousness involving dogma or ideology. But that doesn’t mean other people perceive the separation as I do.
So… to be totally transparent… I am trying to accept the possibility that I am self-righteously dogmatic.
But I can’t. There are two reasons.
One is that Climate Change has been researched and interrogated and argued and had evidence collected for about half a century. I can’t see that as dogma.
And the other is that so much of what I see on the other side of the opinion fence seems to involve blatant lies or at least misinformation.
This morning I saw a Guardian Headline “Labor will not harm coal industry to meet 2050 net zero target, Fitzgibbon says – as it happened.” This irritated me. Our politicians are obsessed with coal. I get it. It’s been a massive boon to the Australian economy for decades. We still have plenty, we can still sell plenty. Been there, done that.
But the Australian economy does not exist in isolation. If the demand for coal dries up, digging it out of the ground is no more useful than catching burps in balloons. Even if we don’t give a shit about Climate Change, we have to change with the rest of the world.
The world has changed in a plethora of other ways and most of them have disadvantaged somebody but the government has kicked up nearly such a stink. The internet has changed retail in Australia forever. Monopolies have abolished the local hardware store, the local hamburger joint, the local furniture dealer, etc etc. We can buy food from all over the world and some of it is cheaper than buying food that was grown down the road. The Australian car industry was helped along on crutches for decades before being abolished all together. Feminism means that the Grand Prix races no longer have slim women with big boobs draping themselves over vehicles before and after each race (I hear the women themselves weren’t happy about losing that lucrative gig).
This continuing obsession with coal is self-destructive. It is a symptom of fear. Fear of losing power. Fear of losing friends. Fear of losing money. Fear of missing out.
If I go to the doctor and say “I have a pain in my chest but it is NOT my heart. Please do a full check-up EXCEPT for my heart” you would tell me I’m crazy, right? But I’m scared because a heart attack in inconvenient. It would change my life-style. It might be painful for a while. So I will ask the doctor to find some other problem to solve. Please.
I don’t want the coal miners out of work. That’s WHY we need a plan. Boy scouts honour! We can’t hold up the coal industry by ourselves. We’re not that big. We’re not that rich. We’re not that isolationist. I have read about what happened to coal miners in the US when companies started losing money.
This fight is not about the jobs of coal miners.
Am I self-righteous? Or justified? Or can I be both?