Virtue out of necessity

Nov 23, 2019

Family Emergency Declarations are not expected to change the minds of those who do not believe that man made carbon (and other) emissions are responsible for the heating of the planet and responsible for the loss if not extinction of species. Nor will they appeal to those where system change is the stand out objective. However, these declarations could be a way for related people who do accept the responsibility of their societies in heating the planet and changing its climate to band together to provide mutual support.

So two family members would be the minimum. Other family members could join in at any time on the basis of family loyalty.

The climate literate in older generations might be harbouring doubts about the part that they could have played in adding to the carbon load in the atmosphere and oceans, a problem that will be faced by younger members of the family - who might feel that delay in stopping pollution and effecting the necessary repair amounts to a form of betrayal. There might be younger members of families who have adopted the values and goals set by their elders and regard the prospect of taking carbon emissions into account as getting in the way of achieving their ambitions. In these cases an older parent/uncle/aunt might explain that it might be sensible and safer to imagine a 'good life' different from their own. It cuts both/all ways when climate literacy starts to work its way into family conversations.

So once the 'necessity' of reducing carbon emissions has been accepted at least by some, then the 'virtue' would be the family growing into a stronger source of help, encouragement, care and love than before the emergency declaration process had started. 'Safety' is a fundamental human need and the family can work together to provide a sense of safety for its members as the sense of danger can increase through various threats implied by climate change eg migration, floods, fires, biodiversity breakdown.