The usual climate change strapline is, “we need to save the planet”. But are we doing ourselves a disfavour by using planet-sized language to describe the pickle we’re in?
Why the planet will be fine
Climate change isn’t about saving the planet. Our planet will be fine whatever we do – or don’t do. It’s about saving ourselves, making sure our children and grandchildren will be OK after we’ve gone. And protecting the precious living things we share the planet with, future-proofing the perfect balance created by evolution over billions of years.
Saving an entire planet is a massive ask – and an impossible task. It’s enough to make you want to give up and go lie in a metaphorical darkened room for the rest of your life. Which is what millions of us are doing as time passes, governments fail to act fast enough, and we carry on burning fossil fuels.
‘Saving the planet’ is a distant, abstract concept. The idea of protecting our loved ones’ future feels more achievable, more real, and at the end of the day a lot more important. It’s also more scary but hey, right now we need to be scared.
At a time like this, the messaging we use is more crucial than ever. Should we change humanity’s climate change strapline before it’s too late? ‘Saving the human race’ is much more accurate, giving us a much better handle on what’s required. What do you think?