You’re going to be attacked by a shark.

I am impressed by the climate change analogies that my classmates have been posting this week. The analogy that I came up with during class was more like a lengthy scenario and not a familiar situation that could be used to represent the more complex issue of global warming.

It went something like this: Imagine… you’re on a row boat with a lot of other people- it’s a very long row boat- and there’s an even number of people on either side of the row boat- it’s a two lane row boat- and no one is paddling because that requires effort. All of a sudden, a great white shark is speeding towards the boat and everyone who sees it starts yelling at everyone to start rowing in the same direction in synchronized motion. If only a few people start rowing, the boat will simply circle in place. After some time being yelled at, everyone notices the shark. Some decide to start rowing, and some refuse to believe it’s a shark and insist, despite the straight trailing edge of the dorsal fin, that it is just a dolphin.

While most of us have probably seen Jaws, this isn’t exactly a personally familiar situation. What I have concluded from this exercise is that climate change is a very complex situation and it is unlike anything humans have had to cope with before. It’s not like your house in on fire.

In an attempt to make another analogy, it’s like the majority of citizens in a country want to mobilize for war with a country that the weapons manufacturers don’t view as an enemy. The enemy is climate change and the weapons manufacturers are big oil companies like Exxon and Bp, you get the idea. Still, nothing can fully portray the dire circumstances of climate change and what it means for everyone on the planet. Maybe the citizens want to go to war with aliens? Now I have surpassed my shark analogy in the level of outrageousness.

This is more difficult than I thought.

One thought to “You’re going to be attacked by a shark.”

  1. Great post! I think both of the analogies you came up are useful ways of addressing the issue of climate change. Your first analogy definitely uphold the need for shock-value. Additionally, it demonstrates the ways in which everyone has to be on board (no pun intended) to make significant change. Your second analogy is quite interesting to me. Comparing oil companies to weapon manufacturers, I believe, is very smart. In many ways, they are weapon manufactures. They hold the key to be able to fight against climate change. Additionally, this analogy makes sense for it acknowledges that our chances of winning this war are close to zero without the oil industries on our side, but still not 100% if we do. Climate change can be significantly slowed, but much of the damage cannot be completely undone. But, in order to have any hope, we need to fight, and we need weapons to do so.

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