A Challenge for Storm Chasers Who Preach about Carbon Emissions

Do you chase storms? Do you claim to care about carbon emissions? If the answer is “yes”, then stop chasing.

If you continue to chase, and you remain on the climate-change/carbon-emissions bandwagon, you are behaving in a dishonest, duplicitous, hypocritical, and pretentious manner. Why? Easy: you are proclaiming the need for others (and isn’t it always others?) to curtail their carbon-spewing activities that you perceive as unneeded, while refusing to most fully do so yourself. And that, friend, is the real “inconvenient truth”.

The measure of any principle is the extent of self-sacrifice for it!

You say you recycle, use solar and wind energy, and/or take public transportation sometimes? Well, so do I–all of the above, in fact. But I do not go strutting around like some pompous enviro-peacock, proclaiming my environmental-sustainability, holier-than-thou status with carbon, while simultaneously and deliberately engaging in activities that completely counterbalance my own ideals. Carbon isn’t the reason I recycle, use solar energy, take electricity from a utility that operates wind farms, etc., and I’m not pretending that it is. And be real here: your token, minimal personal carbon savings in other areas are meaningless in the big picture. You’ll never, ever offset a millionth of what China spews in a single year. That’s the sooty, dirty truth. All the excuses in the world don’t change that.

Blather about personal “carbon offsets”, high-efficiency cars, sustainability, and local sourcing is just window dressing–a feel-good exercise in rationalizations to mollify eco-hipster insecurities. In short, it’s all a load of pandering bullcrap. It doesn’t make any real, measurable difference in the world CO2 budget. Therefore, it’s all about principle and not actual personal carbon emission. Since that’s the case, hold yourself to that principle!

I am not talking about necessary driving, such as to and from work, or to purchase food or obtain medical care. Storm chasing is a hobby. As an avid cross-country storm observer of three decades’ experience, who has logged hundreds of thousands of miles guilt-free, I can declare this with certainty: While fun, educational, informative and (on rare occasion) valuable to the warning system through storm reports, my storm chasing is not absolutely necessary. Neither is yours. I am not holding anyone to a higher standard than myself here. As such, my position is rock-solid.

Personally, I have no horse in the climate-change rodeo and refuse to get involved or take a position, either in support or opposition. I follow no herd regarding what to “do about” a warming climate. I stand tall in defiance of those on both the political left and the right who insist I must take a stand. To both, I say: No. I am my own man and you do not dictate what I must think! The overpoliticization and borderline cult status of it all just turns me off. It’s not worth more than this much of my valuable time, and I have other bigger priorities in life.

I just don’t care one way or another about “global warming” and that’s the brutally honest truth. If we warm a lot, we’ll either adapt or die as a civilization. So be it. That’s also the brutally honest truth. If my lack of concern about this issue gives you discomfort–your problem, not mine. I’ll keep chasing and driving a big vehicle because I don’t advocate anything either way regarding carbon emissions.

Nonetheless, I do care about pretension, hypocrisy and false fronts. And that’s exactly what every single storm chaser is doing who also claims to care about carbon emissions while driving thousands of miles per year for an unnecessary activity.

Again, if you chase storms and also claim to care about carbon emissions, then put your money where your mouth is and cease chasing! In the same vein, stop all other travel that is not absolutely necessary, such as vacations away from home. Either that, or stop the hypocrisy and shut up the two-faced moralizing about carbon use.

Your ideals are only as valid as the degree to which they personally apply to you. Are your carbon principles important enough to make your practice match your preaching, and inconvenience yourself?

That’s the hammer of truth (in Latin, Malleus Verum…thanks bc) that I slam down with blunt force upon this issue. Do your value your principles enough to meet my challenge? Or are they as hollow and meaningless as I suspect?

Let the lame excuses come.



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