In a previous and apparently somewhat controversial article I laid out what individuals are likely to do as despair and anger rise over climate inaction. (I have taken it down, as some actions were illegal and potentially dangerous, but people are doing them.) I was not recommending these actions, but some readers interpreted it that way and seemed very threatened by what desperate individuals will do.
A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”
The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”
Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature…”
Whether we like it or not, that is a fact. Those with power determine the rights of everyone else. Only when the people rise up en masse – showing those in high positions where the ultimate power really lies – do the powerful cede us some ‘rights.’ That has been the history of every progressive movement, from women’s suffrage to the labour movement to today’s environmental and social justice movement.