I’ve made no secret that of the things I care least about, global warming and the minutes of last night’s city council meeting are pretty much in a dead heat. I say things like this not only because I mean them, but because they drive my colleagues apoplectic. I could counter – and elsewhere I have – that global warming is a collective action problem, and so far above my pay grade or yours. And I could counter that I’m orders-of-magnitude – and so are you – more likely to die from cancer or heart disease than from climate change. But as it turns out there’s nothing my colleagues are doing about global warming that they want me to join in with. They just want me to care about it. Presumably in much the way they want me not to care about war crimes taking place in Ukraine, or the current NFL standings, neither of which I can do anything more about than I can about global warming.
I used to find my colleagues’ moral presumption amusing, but lately I find myself finding it more and more offensive, in precisely the way, or so I imagine, a homosexual is offended being told he shouldn’t be attracted to members of the same sex. Our values are that from which we negotiate with others. They are not themselves up for negotiation. If they were we’d have to have a set of meta-values, and then a set of meta-meta-values, and so on ad infinitum.
I’m attracted to people I’m attracted to. Sorry, honey, you just don’t happen to be one of them. I care about the things I care about. And global warming just doesn’t happen to be among them. In both cases, you’re just going to have to adjust.
So the next time someone wonders in high dudgeon why you don’t care about what she cares about, ask her – and make sure you feign even higher dudgeon – why she doesn’t care about the plight of the manatee. If she says she doesn’t know what you’re talking about, ask her, “How can you be so completely ignorant?”
Categories: Why My Colleagues Are Idiots