This image was inspired by the lyrics from Motion City Soundtrack's "Hello Helicopter," believe it or not, but the main theme was the "US" withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. I was thinking specifically of these lyrics:
In several years no one will care
They'll be rich and dead
So let somebody else devise a cure for it
Assume nobody knows if climate change is real. Why would you gamble everyone away on the stubborn (or ignorant) assertion that you are right and cannot possibly be wrong despite your track record of being grossly, perniciously wrong on just about everything hitherto? What if you're wrong? If you take precautions and are wrong, what's the penalty? You get to lead the world in a new movement anyway. Isn't that good for a power fix? Why not excel in and lead the new industries that open up? Let's also assume you make less money from taking climate change seriously. You'd make slightly less money indefinitely into the future and command prestige and leadership versus make slightly more money for a finite period and experience deteriorating living conditions, prestige, and leadership. It's like the schoolyard hypothetical where a guy comes by every day to offer you a choice between a nickel and a dime. He laughs when you choose the less valuable nickel, but comes back every day with the same offer to see if you've learned your lesson; when you finally choose the more valuable dime he no longer comes around. Make a dime once or infinite nickels?
Let's assume all the experts are right. That makes this even more of an obvious choice: follow the advice of people who know what they're talking about. It's not any more complicated than that. In the same way you listen to what the doctor says without yourself having gone to medical school, or the electrician without having studied electrical systems, or the IT guy, or the skydiving instructor.
Fun Facts: With the Paris withdrawal in mind, I started this image by just throwing down slabs of color on a single layer since I only had about 40 minutes to work on this, but fortunately this illustration sorta emerged on its own. It was originally going to be a skeleton drowning in a flood of water, reaching futilely to the empty sky, but when putting on a final yellow-orange layer for more warmth (it was a little too arctic/blue) and toggling through layer styles, I got this neat, radical neony version that I thought looked pretty striking.
Easter Eggs: The skeleton is basically us eroded away into bare nothing and begging for mercy while being overwhelmed with the ocean. I imagined more literally in the scene that the skeleton's reaching for a helicopter to pull him up to safety, but not even that is there.
Full disclosure, I don't actually particularly care about climate change, but I have sense enough to understand the sheer magnitude of the consensus of scientists warning of danger. Not to mention the presented evidence is simply unassailable. I would not presume to know more than them, and that they're all warning of the same thing means any reasonable person should take the precaution and listen to them. Plus, it makes no sense to doom future generations if we have the chance to preclude their ruin now at no real detriment to us in the present and with the possibility of simultaneously opening new industries (and leadership opportunities) as we phase out the old, destructive ones. I see it like recycling: does my individual recycling actually benefit anyone or make a dent in any environmental problems? Who actually knows. But why not? If it's meant to be good and be part of a greater mission to help others and future others, why not do it?
And at the most gut level of rationale, if that Orange Fraud is staunchly anti-climate-change, that should be compelling reason enough to think the opposite--supporting the Paris Agreement--is the more humane, rational, and just position.