At the Doctor

“Climate Change in Our Everyday Lives” gives an indication of what it’s about: what is very near, that which troubles the respondent or irritates them, and something which – when we enlarge on it – has to do with climate change.

The most concise answer to this questions was what I got from my doctor last Thursday during a routine visit.  I asked her suddenly what she thought of  climate change within her daily life.  She stopped and asked, “Quite spontaneously?”  I: “Yes, quite spontaneously”.  She: “Well, I can think of something.  Yesterday was parents’ evening in the school.  These parents irritate me who always bring their kids to school with the auto…… because the cello has to be protected, or the boy might get wet… or come too late…. I said this and got many excuses.“

[Ute Wannig, Bad Vilbel/Germany]

5 thoughts on “At the Doctor”

  1. A thought to “At the doctor”

    I ask myself, what’s the deal with these excuses.
    On the contrary (really?) I’ll say this: Recently I came to work somewhat wet from the rain. My colleague threw up his hands and said: “It’s about time you got a car!” I’ve got a different opinion, so I said that I wanted to do something for the environment. But the collegaue just waved me off: “That is total bullshit.” and moved off toward someone else.
    (by Alchemilla | Translated by Larry Swingle)

    1. I think it’s interesting that it has come about that one apologizes for driving an automobile. Apparently social sanctions have developed which reduce social standing for behaviour which harms the environment. Could this be an effective alternative for political measures?

      Alchemilla’s example shows that not everyone feels impressed, or prehaps asks why he/she should be the one to change something. When more people are affected, the level of awareness of responsibility sinks. (responsibility diffustion).

      @ Alchemilla: Why do you think that your colleague waved you away? Did he feel unaffected? Or did he believe that his behaviour couldn’t change anything?

      1. at Jonathan: I don’t know what exactly the colleague meant with his waving me away. What I registered was that he didn’t take me seriously. That is to say: that bicycles protect the environment. Apparently he also wasn’t intertested further. Perhaps he also felt he was being criticised. I mean, driving a car is comfortable and there are a lot of reasons to love doing it. I didn’t intend to criticise him. But if he did feel that my comment was a criticism, he rejected it: it’s simply silly, protecting the environment, phooey. All this climate warming is silly. This could be a mean-spirited imputation. But these denials do exist already. It is complicated.

        What I always find interesting is the back and forth blaming, or that feeling of having done something wrong or this: Whatever can I do!

        Did the parents apologize to the doctor, because they know that she made it clear that SHE thinks it is harmful, or not always necessary? Or do they themselves feel that it really doesn’t always have to be done.

        These embarrassments?

  2. at Jonathan: I could imagine that these social sanctions at least hinder a discussion, What do you think?

    1. at Alchemilla, Jonathan et al: Greetings, your discussion is interesting, especially the question of “social sanctions” for behaviour which harms the environment and whether or not this could be detrimental to the communication between people. Well, I think that naturally behaviour that harms the environment must be noticed and commented on. It is no trivial offence, but hurts everyone. At the same time there is no justification for feeling morally superior to someone who drives a car. For example, in Germany we have no really modern infrastructure that would allow people living in the country get along entirely without a motor vehicle. The political structures that are responsible for this state of affairs should be addressed, as well as the automobile industry should be mentioned. The traffic system upon which their profits is based is outdated and obsolete. It would be good if we would recognize this and state it clearly……………… my opinion

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