What I always learn every time we have any kind of question is that when I really study every word and meaning in the question, i almost always end up saying something like, IT DEPENDS WHAT YOU MEAN BY... i.e.. it depends on how you define a certain word, or how you take its meaning. In this case there is the word ONLY in there, which means that were asking is that the ONLY time that we change our thinking. SO .. if i take this question literally the answer will have to be a surprising NO (shock horror @riverflows ;-)) ..
The reasoning is of course.. Not all disasters change our thinking, and our thinking does sometimes change even without a disaster happening. However, there are some things that it may well take a disaster to alter. Maybe the biggest patterns are the hardest to change, and so when we need to change the big things that more or less govern how this entire planet operates, then we may need a little push to get us there. It's fair to say we don't like change that much, it unsettles us, creates confusion and uncertainty, and promotes fear.. even if its just fear of the unknown.
Now, if i take this question a little bit less literally let me say this! We are already about as close to a climate disaster as we want to be! IT seems clear to me that we are only going to change our thinking relating to how we live on this planet when a real disaster happens. Look at the Australian fires happening. That is a Disaster, but clearly not big enough to initiate massive change. When we say disaster we also have to realise that we mean a real damn huge one! An example is the Fukushima meltdown in Japan that happened a few years back.. Now, that was a serious disaster and one that initiated a lot of changes in Japan, and today they are leading the way into renewable energy, and are shutting down their nuclear power stations slowly but surely.
Having said that, sometimes even disaster isn't enough to change our thinking, e.g.. the financial crisis of 2008 changed nothing! The whole world got thrown into an horrific economic crisis.. this was an economic disaster of gigantic proportions. So when the thing we have to change is not only HUGE, but also corrupted, as most of the planet is, this can make it very hard to change our thinking because our State controls our thinking and they are not able to control or discipline the banking system as they ARE the banking system!
Interestingly, War is a huge man made disaster, one of the biggest and worst that we continue to self inflict. War serves to prevent change in our thinking, and even reinforces it. War is a great example of a disaster will never change our thinking... at least not for the better!
Many things are changing without a disaster, such as the spread of the Vegetarian / Vegan diet. We did not run out of cows or sheep, but yet the world is shifting to a vegan diet in droves.
So, in conclusion i have to say that it really depends on what changes we are talking about, and how big the disaster is. At the end of the day, we will almost never change our thinking... no matter how big the disaster until the thing that prevents that change in thinking is removed.
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