Perspective on climate change…

“Our concept of nature as a symbol of 
virtue results in an incredible overemphasis on what individuals can 
personally, virtuously, do to ‘save’ it. This, unfortunately, comes at the 
expense of focusing on systematic changes. We can see it play out in 
the public conversation, the vitriol of the political spat, right down 
to neighborly tensions over SUVs versus Priuses.

 metaphors in language unrelated to nature also shape our actions. Think
 about the dominant conceptual metaphor: ‘Change is motion.’ We speak of
 climate change as ‘speeding up,’ having ‘momentum,’ and are even so 
bold as to suggest the goal is to ‘stop’ climate change. For substantial 
natural changes a big rolling boulder comes to mind. Our general 
call for mass behaviour change is, in a way, an organizational principle 
that is a natural entailment of this metaphor. We can conceive of 
’stopping’ climate change because we can imagine the boulder coming to 

 truth, I daresay, is more complex — a bit more sobering, too. A 
better metaphor might be a big wave.”

— Carter Brooks