There are three characteristics that cause something to tip:
o the fact that little causes can have big effects, and
o that change happens not slowly, but dramatically.
That dramatic moment is the Tipping Point. The book goes on to say that you need connectors (people who know a lot of people), mavens (accumulators of information) and salesmen (those with a special winning personality) to orchestrate the activity, but what is the product or social epidemic in global climate change?
The fact of the matter, actually, is that most just don’t care that much. Many are willing to shell out a hundred dollars to attend a professional football match, sometimes in freezing weather, half the time to be disappointed. But saving Planet Earth? The problem is that global change, with hurricanes and hot summers being random exceptions, occurs very slowly. You can’t see the sea rise. A five degree Fahrenheit rise in 50 years is one-tenth of a degree each year.
There are connectors, mavens and salesmen like Al Gore and James Hanson, but the epidemic is not directly killing anyone. The cherry blossoms might bloom in Japan two weeks early, but that’s fine.
The Guardian in 2005 reported, “Warming hits tipping point.”The trigger was said to be the Siberian frozen peat bog, about the size of France and Germany combined, which was thawing, releasing methane gas, said to be 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. But nothing much came of this news blurb.
Perhaps there is something I can do. Why don’t I write a best selling book to trigger a societal tipping point? Let me call it, oh, The Venus Syndrome. Then, too, a subsequent boffo movie would help.