Count your money as the world burns
It's been a depressing few weeks. The UN released a report saying that unless governments across the world actually start doing something to avoid catastrophic climate change, we will experience catastrophic climate change.
The US government then declared that as climate change is likely to be catastrophic, there is no point in implementing any policies to make it less so.
And Japan keeps building new coal plants. Lamentable, indeed.
I also got some very bad news this week.
All of which gives me pause. This whole save and invest for the future, be the ant not the grasshopper, frugal and responsible, thing. Is it the best way to spend my life?
If life is going to get noticeably more difficult in a couple of decades, and continue worsening for the rest of our lifetime, what's the point?
Right now I could probably stop working and live off savings for 15-20 years. I kind of want to. I feel really tired right now.
But on the other hand I enjoy my life. It's not really about depriving myself in order to save, it's about designing a life I enjoy that leaves a bit extra to put aside to make ourselves more financially resilient.
And that is good for the environment too. Instead of buying more things we don't need to impress people we don't like, we can buy our time back so that we can cook at home, cycle to work, walk to the supermarket, and be more deliberate with our time.
This has just been a bit of a rough year. It would have been even rougher if we didn't have decent financial habits. Just need to get through the next few months and wait for a brighter time.
However, I have decided to sell all my fossil fuel stocks. BP, Enbridge, KMI, Oneok, BHP, Rio Tinto. I know this probably doesn't make sense from a financial point of view (although it might do if their businesses collapse in the future as I hope they will) and I am aware I still own them as part of indexes, but this is a small concrete thing I can do.
Another thing I can do is change my diet. Eat less meat, and less beef specifically. Fly less. Drive less. Small things, but again something I can do.
And talk about the issue. The only way to escape the dark future is for massive action at the governmental level. And that requires enough people to demand it. I can't vote here, but I can talk to people, write things, and teach.
I think people my age will just about escape from the worst of it, but our children and grandchildren won't.
How about you? Do you think about environmental issues? Are you as worried as I am?