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Trump (and) the cause of climate change

The problem, the cause and the storyteller.

‘Trump is causing a raise of 1.3 C in global warming’, the radio said. Obviously, I immediately realized that Trump himself is not the direct cause, though he looks a little bit corpulent. It referred to his decision to pull out the Paris climate accord.

Being a root cause analyst, I am often surprised by the kind of causes people address to. Pulling out from an agreement to save the world is not considerable as a cause of global warming. The world is warming up by the sun. If you want to save the earth from global warming, you need a sun shield in space. The Paris accord is an intention. Good intentions are never a cause of anything. It is part of an imaginary world in which we can work on our obese way of living without giving up any habit we embrace so dearly. Withdrawing from an intention does not cause anything (Want to read more: Sapiens, Y.N. Harari, 2012).

This article is not about global warming. It is about how we reason about problems. The story we tell. The sun warming the earth is our first live condition. We do not wish to call it a problem. We hit holes in the earth’s crust and pour out coal, oil and gas to burn them for our comfort. We’re hardly able to see it as a problem. People like Donald Trump don’t. But doing so, our climate is changing which is also a natural process.

Well where does this lead us? What is the relation between Trump, the sun and fighting global warming? It is our habit to intervene in natural processes. This is not the sole right of humans, even a blackbird is doing that by building a nest to protect her eggs and offspring. Humans do it more imposing, like the story of the sorcerer's apprentice, who was so brainy to bring brooms to live, whilst not knowing how to manage them.

I don’t really know about black birds. However, I believe though nature is a chain of causes, nature doesn’t have problems. The cosmos acts according to laws of nature and there are no problems with ‘root’ causes, it is a continuous and complex chain of events. We are the ones, humans who call this cause and effect *) and undesirable effects we call problems. One category is the kind we created ourselves. The Pandora’s box type of causes. If you can’t beat them, you have to manage them.

And here is where we can call Trump a cause. He is withdrawing the biggest economy out of managing the human factor in global warming. And the cause of that? He doesn’t believe humans are a big factor. He simply chooses another tale: We are all part of nature.

(* Is there a law of cause and effect? I mean like a law of nature, not Karma.

Written by Dirk Vollenhoven, senior facilitator & trainer at CoThink

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