If society can recognize the infinitesimally small window we are in, we may yet successfully embrace the urgency required for collective action.  

Here in Carbon Privilege, Carbon Supremacy Part II, we continue to build the ramp towards recognizing how small our Life Window is, and where to look for appropriate actions.  

In “Carbon Privilege, Carbon Supremacy Part I” we explored Systemic Carbonism and the qualities of Carbon Privilege, including Carbon Fragility and Carbon Addiction.

Here, “Carbon Privilege, Carbon Supremacy Part II” we look first at Carbon Idealism.  
Carbon Idealists can be:

  • Unaware of our own biases, prejudices, and discriminatory behaviors
    a. Examples of unexamined biases include: 
    •  Assumptions that governments which are trusted and expected to carry out
      carbon reduction policies are effective and responsible
    • Decades of climate justice work already proven to have been affected by
      special interests, shifting opinions, demagogy, scandals, and corruption will
      someday be unaffected by these forces. 
    • The Negative Spillover Effect, in which one pro-environmental
      behavior decreases the likelihood of additional pro-environmental behaviors,
      for example when energy efficiency improvements lead the consumer to use
      the service more. (There are both direct and indirect negative spillovers, as
      you can imagine…)
    • Moral Licensing where people feel licensed to act immorally after
      establishing moral credentials.
      • e.g. Electric car owners felt less obligated to behave in a pro-
        environmental manner compared to conventional car owners.  (I have
        an electric hybrid vehicle, and I can testify that this bias is present for
    • Compensatory Green Beliefs, which is the belief that engaging in a pro-environmental act (e.g., recycling) can compensate for engaging in an unsustainable behavior (e.g., driving a car).

Essentially, Carbon Idealists perceive ourselves as good, moral, decent human beings who find it difficult to see ourselves as hurting the Earth.  And, it’s especially important to note, we are all FINE with being totalcarbon junkies. We are in a class by ourselves, here on Earth. We are the Carbon Addicts.


The Carbon Addict Class

One of the most important questions in the history of humanity is:  

“Where am I along the Carbon Addiction spectrum?”  

Ask yourself that question now.  I will, too….  

Did you hear yourself think anything like this:

  • “I love Carbon!”  
  • “I need Carbon.”
  • “Some of my best friends use Carbon.”
  • “Carbon isn’t bad!”  
  • “Carbon is actually good!”  
  • “Can I get me some of that really good stuff…?”

If you did, then Good!  You’re being honest.  

It’s tough to face, right?  – – –  Made even more difficult because, well, how can we actually know?  How can we ever know the answer to questions such as:  

How does my Carbon Addiction match up with, say, Industrial Agriculture’s? Etc.

One way we can find out is to ask Class level questions such as:  

Why do I continue to participate, despite such clear and formal recognition of inequality?

What is the level of my privilege, such that I continue to gulp down Carbon, while this massive inequality is so widely known, accepted, even touted!

Your own answers to these questions open a doorway to survival.  

Can  you feel that with me?

We are VALID!  We are a valid species on Earth!  We are as beautiful and innocent as moss. We are homo sapiens sapiens, we are EVOLVING!  We get to make evolutionary mistakes.  

It’s up to me, it’s up to youl, it’s up to us to repair.

(more coming in Carbon Privilege, Carbon Supremacy Part III)