Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): You know all that "we would save the world if it weren't so darn expensive business?" Why does it persist in the face of all the evidence to the contrary?

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): We know that (a) it's not that expensive, if you compare the required investment not to "no investment" but to investing what we already invest on things like the energy systems that are not so slowly killing us.

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): Time to buy a new sweater. I could replace my existing sweater exactly for $50 or buy this one that is hand-made and prettier for $52. I do not shout from the rooftops I can never have a pretty sweater because the prettiness up-charge is $52...I think about the $2 upgrade fee.

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): ...but sometimes, when the trillions per year get bandied about, best I can tell, that's full investment cost, not the difference between the cost of the current path and the cost of a better path.

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): We also know that (b) we'd save enormous amounts of money on other benefits like health because fossil fuels attack not just the climate but also lungs and arteries.

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): Well, this air purifier does cost money but on the other hand we can stop paying for all that asthma medication for little Susy and offset the cost (for non-Americans: this will only make sense if you realize Susy has no free health care but that's a thread for another day).

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): We also know that: (c) the costs of doing nothing will be much much much much higher than the costs of acting.

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): Yes it is expensive to fix the roof, and maybe not as much fun as going on vacation, but it's also not as expensive as replacing everything in the house if we don't fix the roof and it rains for a week. This is what grownups do. They fix the damn roof.

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): So what's going on? Why is it those who call for climate action get portrayed as not practical, not "realistic" because it's so expensive to act? This really interests me.

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): I imagine there's some deliberate strategy at play, and possibly money and comms campaigns and maybe someone has looked into it. After all who does it benefit if most people think saving ourselves would be nice but it's just too expensive?

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): But this all feels deeper to me. Like inner psyche deeper. Some kind of strange collective projection?

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): Is it: --surely if we could afford it we would have saved ourselves already -- we haven't saved ourselves -- so it must not be affordable?

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): Or is it that the earth should give us everything for free, and so while we have to buy sweaters and patch roofs any effort at planetary care is a cost too deep to bear? I just don't know.

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin (@bethsawin): I don't know, but if someone has figured this out I would like to know, because I'm pretty sure I am not the impractical one here.