Missing the Forest for the Trees?

This week’s reading was a really cool one for me. I really appreciated the new perspective the article gave on how societies can collapse. While I never had heard of the Western Settlement and I don’t know much about the vikings, I really appreciated the new way of thinking. To me the way that this story of this civilization has been taught would make a lot of sense and I probably wouldn’t have questioned it. But when you take a deep look into the culture of the civilization and realize how they weren’t willing to let go of silly, inconsequential things such as eating or not eating fish, it shows that culture can play a large role in the outcome of a society. 

I also think that this way of thinking or analyzing stuff, looking at how a culture is unwilling to let go of something seemingly small but with a large payoff, can definitely be applied to today and our climate crisis. Just like how the vikings were unwilling to let go of small aspects of a culture today we have those things too. In my opinion something like taxing fossil fuel companies more and using those funds to build green energy is something that is really small, but there seems (in certain groups) to be resistance to the idea of more taxation and green energy solutions. Maybe my opinion is wrong, but it seems like the fossil fuel industry is in its death throes and trying all it can do to milk the last bit of profit it can out of a dying cash-cow. Maybe my idea for a solution isn’t the best, but the sentiment behind it is what I want to convey.

And again, maybe I’m wrong in my opinion but to really learn from the past and to avoid repeating the same failures of societies before us is important. I think that the small loss in the short term is way better than the huge loss in the long term if action isn’t taken. This short term loss does have support, it’s not like it is a pipe dream, it can easily be a reality yet I still feel like a lot of people miss the big picture. The big picture is doing our best to mitigate the effects of climate change, and the consequences it brings.

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