The average citizen doesn’t follow science close enough to appreciate the threat of climate change, let alone study science close enough to sort truth from misinformation in today’s social media free-for-all. It is the responsibility of government to pay attention to experts, to set policy according to their advice, and to tell constituents the truth.
This is not happening now because the climate crisis is fundamentally a crisis of leadership! You simply can’t expect a disparate public to gather in the streets in sufficient numbers to signal our ‘support’ for climate policies when we can’t, as a body, understand the science. But the Crisis of Leadership is doubly pernicious: by what political sophistry can this oxymoronic idea, that a diverse citizenry is ultimately the responsible party in specialized matters of science, be justified when our elected ‘leaders’ mandated to heed the science don’t even tell us the truth?
At this pivotal time in Human and indeed Natural history it is truly alarming that the primal covenant between citizen and government is being compromised by a modern democracy’s assumption that “the people know best” in all cases. This is no truer today for the ‘Climate War’ than it was true for the threat of wars and pandemics in the past!
Like it or not, those who put themselves forward as political leaders assume this pledge to heed the experts. And, notwithstanding the pressure from economic interests, notwithstanding the illusory escape of deferring to ‘the people’, you will be held responsible by future generations for your failure to inform the public about, and to take the required action to address, the defining challenge of our time.
[You’ll find a more in-depth version of this post here: https://www.extremophilechoice.com/2022/06/04/a-short-diversion-from-essay-selections-after-the-2022-ontario-election-the-meaning-of-leadership-for-human-beings/]