Wednesday, May 11, 2016

In Denial

In life, there are myriad small things but also a few pretty darn big things that get our goats. Climate Change comes to mind. We've know about it for a long time; I first taught it about 30 years ago. Actually, in a sense I didn't teach it, but it was one of the issues that we examined in my world issues class. When we exemined an issue, we tried to gather information open-mindedly before drawing conclusions. In the case of Climate Change or Global Warming, which is what we called it then, the science and evidence led invariably to the understanding that it was, indeed, real.

It doesn't so much bother me that the planet has been slow to react to this and correct the course because I know it's easier said than done. I once came across the notion that we are secessional creatures who are more or less forced to use the tools that are at our disposal. It is difficult and expensive to adapt to change. For example: I would like to have a hybrid vehicle, but I can't afford it. On the other hand, I don't do much driving; my 10000km/6000mi per year hardly justify the expense of converting because the resources to create new cars also amount to something.

That being said, the world has obviously been much too slow to react; we need to do better.

The most galling part of this is the deniers. You know, the ones who have decided that 98% of the climate scientists must be, somehow, bought by governments. I mean all of the governments in the world are buying out all of the scientists for some reason. I can't figure out the reason, mind you, but I am sure there must be one. Not.

Meanwhile, the 2% (or whatever) of scientific, climate change deniers must be telling us the truth, even if they work for oil companies or right wing think tanks as most are proven to be.

Then there are those who think Jesus is returning to make a New Earth, so this one doesn't matter. Doubt it, for I remember my pastor preaching ~1960 that all of the signs were there for the Second Coming and that he didn't see how it would be any longer than 10 years before the big event. Even if you do believe this, I cannot fathom how cavalierly fouling the planet that god created for us would be seen to be an honourable thing.

So yeah, climate change bothers me, but the willful ignorance of people about this and other things bothers me more.

PS: When I started this post, I was heading in another direction about how some little things bother me, but then ... ah well.


KGMom said...

Right there with you, AC. Starting out with one idea but then the blog writes itself and takes me somewhere else.
As for your noting the absurdity, maybe even insanity, of people who say "Jesus is returning soon"--so no need to do anything. I think this is a complete bastardization of what I take the meaning to be. The kingdom of God is here and now. Not some future ethereal place. But right here. Right now.
So fouling the planet would be the same of dishonoring God.

The other point that your reference to the 2% deniers makes me think is that we have seen an erosion of scientific understanding. Facts are no longer facts. They are to be disputed--not tested, mind you which is the scientific method--but outright disputed. And most of the impetus for that dispute is "I don't BELIEVE"....not "I can prove something different."

A U.S. senator once said--you can have your own opinions but you can't have your own facts. Too many people today have their own facts--and some of those facts are...what climate change. It's all a big conspiracy. Which in itself drives me nuts--WHO would be behind that conspiracy?

We know who is behind the climate change denial movement--big oil, big coal.
Meanwhile the planet burns (including most spectacularly the recent Alberta fires). When we are all gasping for breath, or dying of lack of water, or too hot a planet--will there still be climate change deniers?

troutbirder said...

Well said, AC. I'll toss in the fact that I taught similar classes in my years of teaching 12th graders..:)

Marie Smith said...

I wrote about the coastal erosion here in PEI and someone wrote saying she didn't believe in global warming because there are some areas experiencing lowest temperatures on record. There is no point talking facts to such people. They have their minds made up. Scientists are all the pupperts of government according to them. There is no point engaging such people in discussion.

I fear for our world. Our grandchildren deserve better.

Country Gal said...

Being raised on a farm and having to take notice of the climate , weather and changes as it was part of our survival of our stock and gardens as well as loving and studying nature I have noticed a big change in the climate and had done many years ago with out the use of scientists to tell me it is changing . I see the difference in our winters ,in the way things grow when and how , the migrations of birds and bugs how they are changing as well the amount of rains or there lack of and even the amount of snow , lake and river waters and all in between . nature is the best information of all of this if people would just pay attention to it and notice the difference more then having to wait for scientist to tell every one , I think this human population really needs to get on board with this climate change and what we can to save our earth I try and do what I can bit by bit . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

Ruth said...

Sounds like you were a good teacher who promoted thinking and discussion. As a child, I was taught that the world would end within one generation after 1948 (when Israel became a nation) and the idea terrified me. Such thinking does not encourage good stewardship of the earth. On the other hand, the term "scientific study" is so abused that I understand how people become cynical. John Oliver on Last Week Tonight did an entertaining talk on scientific studies this week.
You really have to double check everything you read.

Kay said...

Well you know that both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz felt it was just a weather change and not climate change. Sigh. Republicans have blasted President Obama for trying to focus efforts on reducing climate change. It's really upsetting, and I'm wondering if it's now too late.

Jayne said...

When we SEE massive CHUNKS of the polar ice cap disappearing, and still think there is not a problem with global warming... well, it makes me wonder what we CAN agree upon at this point. Like most things, we want our cake and to eat it too, all at the expense of this place that supports the life we have.

altar ego said...

Couldn't agree more, which makes it all the more important that I not yield to temptation (on the rare occasion) to shirk my duty to take care of creation. It's just too important.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Oh, yes. I forgot about this issue, too! sigh.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh yes, all so sadly true. I too am all but speechless with anger at the evangelical Christians who are happy to promote unrest in the Middle East because it's all in fulfillment of prophecy and who ignore climate change, world hunger, and all the other problems we face because The End Is Near and all we need to do is pray. I want to bop them on their smug, self righteous heads.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Yes, it is true, John, that so many are in denial not only about these issues but even more so. Living in an apt complex now, we can see how careless many people (not all) can be about simple things like recycling. Too many people seem to believe there is an endless supply of everything.

Mage said...

Yes, those deniers bother me terribly, but the announcement that some of the coral reefs are now dying because of warmer water truly frightens me.

Ginnie said...

Well said, AC ....I agree on all accounts