Home > Love, Parenting, Uncategorized > Save Now, Pay Later! — No, thanks.

Save Now, Pay Later! — No, thanks.

Did you know Exxon knew about climate change 40 years ago?

That it then poured money into promoting misinformation about climate change?

If you hadn’t yet heard about this, that’s because a small group of heavily resourced people have worked long and hard to keep you misinformed. Indeed, searching for “scientific american climate change” (for this article) yields first and foremost a corporate.exxonmobile.com ad titled, “Don’t Be Misled – Get the Facts.”

‘Cause, see, folks: You should mistrust scientists, not those with enormous financial incentives to promote divergent outcomes!*

One of my favorite authors, Gavin de Becker, aptly calls denial a “save now, pay later” scheme. As a parent, I have sub-zero interest in pay-later schemes my children and their peers will be forced to endure for the rest of their days. I would rather face terrible probabilities now, plan now, and act now as I am able, knowing my kids and their companions will someday understand I did the very best I could to ease their lot.**

When adults dismiss climate change or think “some brilliant someone else will fix it, so I don’t have to think about it,” that denial isn’t cost-free. It’s a cost deferred–to those, I’d wager, most of us least want to suffer the consequences of adults’ studied refusal to see.

* “Cui bono?” is one of the most illuminating questions you can ask yourself: “As always, the answer is in the question, ‘Cui bono?’ Who benefited from this, and is therefor likely responsible?”

** I’m not only concerned with the younger generations, to be clear. Already, there are countless evident climate migrants (aka “climate refugees”) displaced by climate change, with more lined up, figuratively, for hundreds to thousands of miles behind them.




  1. October 23, 2017 at 5:53 am

    Good piece! I’ve been telling into the wind about this stuff for a few years now. I want solar panels, the wife thinks they’re ugly. I want a wind generator, the township won’t approve it. There are road blocks everywhere and it’s so frustrating. When will everyone wake up and understand that convenience comes with a scary price for our kids?

  2. October 23, 2017 at 6:01 am

    I so wish I knew the answer, and love the crisp clarity of the question! Postman said most people will only acknowledge/change when they’re personally impacted, which does ring true in my experience.

    I hope more folks realize more quickly that the failure to feel the impact now, personally, doesn’t mean there isn’t a personal impact. It just means their kids will be the ones to feel it, which is highly personal even if felt personally by one’s children instead of one’s own skin.

  3. October 23, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Nothing shocks me any more. ❤

    • October 23, 2017 at 11:37 am

      I hear that. I knew of this a year or two ago, but reflected on it again after a (positive!) exchange this morning. While I’m no longer shocked, I have something that’s almost like aftershocks, where I remember what it was like to understand I’d misperceived most everything. The real shock is over, but I think those aftershocks will be felt here and there, for many things, for a while, as I wish I had the eloquence and reach to explain that hidden costs are no less costs for being (momentarily) hidden.


  4. October 23, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Sigh. Consuming/continuing to consume and leaving someone else to pay the bill seems like a type of theft to me.

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