In the movie “The Matrix,” Trinity says to Neo while his fate teeters on the edge of a knife:
“Because you have been down there, Neo, you know that road, you know exactly where it ends. And I know that’s not where you want to be.”
Neo chose to take her advice and turn aside; I took the road and crashed.
In May of 1997, I hiked with my wife to the summit of Mnt. Shavano in Central Colorado—a grueling but beautiful climb that expressed our love for mountains, nature, and outdoor sports. A month later, I lay in a Montana hospital, paralyzed for life because I let comfort and ego entice me down a road that Neo had the sense to avoid.
In 2004, scientists at Emory University used functional MRIs to discover a disturbing fact: Regardless of intelligence, profession, or worldview beliefs, humans tend to interpret reality to support their egos, ambitions, convenience or bias. Don’t I know it!
While driving across Montana, I knew I needed a cup of coffee or a nap. Instead, I bought a smoothie because I wanted a smoothie and kept driving because I wanted to drive. Ten minutes later, I fell asleep, rolled my pick-up into a gulch, and crushed my spinal cord. Regarding global warming, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says don’t worry, keep your hands on the wheel and your foot on the gas.
“Populations can acclimatize to warmer climates,” they say, “via a range of behavior, physiological, and technical adaptations.”
In other words, don’t speak out against Federal and industry plans to expand fossil fuel usage. Don’t demand a sustainable future loudly, persistently, and now.
When I came out of a coma to discover I was paralyzed, impotent, eight-five percent deaf, blind in one eye, and diagnosed as brain damaged, my therapists insisted my life was not trashed; it was merely ‘changed.’ With an attitude adjustment and a few behavioral, physiological, and technical adaptations [they said], I’d be back on my feet—in a manner of speaking—and loving my ‘new’ existence.
Speaking for myself, I’d count myself lucky to trade every second of the past fourteen years and those to come for one more hike with my wife up steep mountain trails or another chance to make love with her as Nature intended. For me—because some mistakes can never be undone—my future is written regarding so many things I once treasured…things that others take for granted or treat with contempt.
Imagine the rage I’d feel if my therapists had encouraged me before my accident to ignore my danger to promote their careers…because this is precisely what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is doing by writing off your future to safeguard their continued profits.
What technical, behavioral, or physiological adaptations will allow you to escape months of sweltering heat when only the wealthy can afford air conditioning? What attitude adjustments will make your days bearable when America’s live-for-today denial leads to poverty and wars through global resource exhaustion—when climate extremes make hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, floods, tornadoes, famine, disease and death our ‘new’ way of life?
What right does the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have to set future quality-of-life standards for all mankind under any pretext?
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Big Oil and Mining, and their political allies tell themselves what they need to believe to promote their egos, wealth and social control. They spin their self-delusions to exploit the public’s willingness to deceive itself to avoid inconvenience or change.
Don’t let them do it. They’re whispering for you to drive down that road, and we both know where it ends. Only you can free your mind by escaping the matrix of ego.
Twice a surrogate stem cells spokesperson for the GW Bush White House, J. Perry Kelly ended his association with the political right over its distortion of global warming for short-sighted political gain and fiscal profits.