What to Do When Your Neighbor Thinks Climate Change Isn’t Real
The answer isn’t “Make him give you appliances” but it might as well be
We have lived in this house for seven years and the refrigerator has sucked from Day 1. Anything put on the top shelf freezes, but at least that shelf exists. The other big shelf — it broke. This allows us to store pretty tall things in there, like, if we got in a head-on collision with an owl we could stand it up in our refrigerator overnight instead of having to call an emergency taxidermist, but mostly it just means we’re down a shelf, which, given that the railings (? Do refrigerators have railings?) on the door shelves are all broken at the joint means you’re not talking about a lot of good places to put stuff. Of course we use those shelves anyway, because we have to, and about every fifth time we open the refrigerator the railings fall apart and everything falls out and as we clean up shards of glass and pepperocinis and chunks of dog food sitting in goat milk we’re like goddamit it fuck this fucking refrigerator and fuck everything.
Almost the whole time we’ve been living in this house with our shitty refrigerator this house flipper dude has been working on the house across the street. Unclear what’s taking him so long. The guy is perfectly nice, maybe sixty, always friendly, but he’s not very efficient. There are worse crimes than not being efficient. I only very recently went from being annoyed about the constant noise to just mostly scornfully thinking “you are bad at house flipping which is already an annoying profession.”
One night, way back before dining out was cancelled except for the people who don’t cancel stuff, I saw this guy eating dinner out in town, and he was sitting right near me, and I was alone, and he and the woman he was with were talking, loud enough for me to hear every single word, about how they didn’t believe in climate change. Well, the guy was talking, saying stuff like “Sure it’s warmer but, hello, weather is warm sometimes” and “I mean, yeah you’re gonna tell me California just started burning? I grew up here, I know!” and the woman kept saying stuff like “THANK you for finally being someone who is being real about this.”
As I was leaving the guy saw me and smiled and said “All by yourself?” and I was about to say “I am never alone I take my basic knowledge of climate catastrophe with me wherever I go” but instead I said, “Yep flying solo tonight hehehehaeah etc.”
So recently, I was getting into my car and saw the Climate Denying House Flipper wheeling a perfectly nice likely fairly new but filthy stainless steel fridge out of his still not-yet-flipped house. I said “Oh, nice refrigerator, that’s just like the refrigerator I dream of every night!” and he said “Oh, I was going to sell it but you guys can HAVE it.” And I thought about all the times I hear people talking about how they don’t believe in climate change, or saying mildly less stupid things (but actually, not really that much less stupid) like “Well I think everyone’s really waking up and before long it will all be under control,” and how I sometimes speak up and sometimes don’t, and I thought, you know, I am so glad I didn’t speak up that time because if I had I would not now be the lucky recipient of this pretty sweet free refrigerator.
I don’t think my climate denying houseflipper neighbor is about to kill anyone so I guess he’s alright with me. He could be much worse. I gave him a bottle of wine. He told me he loved it. He spoke of it rhapsodically.
These days, our condiments stay secure in their compartments. We have enough refridgerator shelving. The butter has its own room, with its own nifty door, and seems very cozy.