When I think back to arguments that I have engaged in or even observed, I get an immediate feeling of frustration because if I am involved in an argument that means I am most likely attempting to get other people to think in the terms that I am thinking while being attacked by an opposing side of the argument. On the other hand if I am observing an argument this most likely means I am frustrated that I do not feel that I have the means to contribute to the topic being discussed. Recently I was in a debate with a friend (which she was clearly winning because of her deeper knowledge of the subject) and as we were heading on our ways she added “This could go in circles for hours,” which seems to be the frustrating truth of most arguments. You can argue anything. All arguments are valid because even our most basic truths we rely on in everyday affairs and society are simply theories. Yes we have proved the theory of gravity and of evolution and climate change and how babies are made, yes we have facts, but even those facts came from opinions and made up words and constructed ideas that are forever subject to interpretation. So are there instances when an argument is a mistake? Yes, for short-term reasons, but in the grand scheme all arguments are a contribution to history and the way people learn to continue having arguments. Are there arguments we need to have? I believe so, but I believe this is easier said than done when looking in hindsight. It is easy to say we need to argue about saving the world after it is already ending. There are arguments that are both of these things, yet we cannot know for certain until after the argument has been made.
In Rebecca Solnit’s article “By the Way, Your Home Is On Fire,” she compares climate change to a house on fire, and her solution to get out of this is divestment. Considering her solution, this metaphor does not apply to the real situation at hand, mainly because there is no way out of that situation. As a solution I propose the metaphor of an abusive relationship. An abusive relationship where the abuser is humans and the Earth is the abused. An abuser may have learned from history, instances where they have been abused, to abuse themselves. Humans have learned from our history to continue living how we do and advancing technology the way we have in the past. An abuser has the power to stop abusing; leaving the abused with some emotional/mental scarring that can hopefully be fixed if nixed in time. If they continue however, it will be too late for the one abused. If they stop when enough damage has already been done, it is still too late.