Sunday, April 29, 2007

Unnecessary Neologism Alert: Multilogue

I'm on the brink of understanding what Q-Majin? is going to be all about. "Magine" this:

Global warming is proven to be everything that we think it is except detrimental to human or animal existence. Just momentarily imagine, in fact, that it's universally beneficial to human and animal existence. All we have to do is emit more CO2 into the atmosphere and everything will be better... Al Gore makes an updated documentary and urges everyone to burn as much fossil fuel as possible, and proposes subsidizing dirty Chinese smog-factories.

What would happen? Imagine the segment of population that now describes itself as "environmentalist" learning that global warming was a good thing, and that more industry would have a positive impact on the environment. Would they: A) Switch sides and endorse pro-industry policies or B) Drop the cause altogether and go back to protesting sweatshops?

It is my hope that Q-Magine? will have little to do with politics, and everything to do with thinking honestly about motivations. Like the pro-life-secular-humanist, the environmentalist who is skeptical about mainstream doom & gloom global-warming prophecies is an unrepresented anomaly. But it is a political/ethical position that I can imagine, and so I have... In fact, I'm starting to sympathize with my hypothetical character--like my character, I care deeply about living on a healthy planet; and like my character, I think most of the hot air being injected into the atmosphere is coming from anti-industrialists in disguise as environmentalists.

But!!! ...the doom & gloom position, too, could be made sympathetic if it were self-consciously deceptive. Imagine the character who is simply and straightforwardly anti-industry. Tough sell, right? Everyone knows that industry makes for cheaper and more widely distributed goods. But for the transcendentalist who believes materialism is a disease, the question is: how to sell this anti-industry sentiment. Hmm... ah! We'll call it "environmentalism" and slip the anti-industrialism in through the back door.

Now that would be a deft maneuver!--so clever I might almost be willing to call myself an "environmentalist" and write scary columns about how San Diego is sinking into the sea or something...

Have you ever seen every side of an issue, and seen them all with sympathy?

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Have I ever managed to see all sides of an issue with sympathy? Hmmm. Tough. I'm a terrible fence straddler.

Big exception: The debate over God. It fills me with longing, compassion and mighty frustration.