Rather than a lot of piecemeal replies to anti-science posts on Facebook, I’ve put my thoughts about climate change into this article. You can call it my opinion and write it off. But it is the result of thought and research, which is more than I can say about a lot of the stuff posted on Facebook about climate change.
Climate Change – A Challenge for Humanity
The climate is changing. The ten hottest years since we began to measure have occurred since 1998, with 2016 the hottest. Our challenge:
1. Acknowledge the overwhelming scientific evidence that CO2 emissions are behind this and work together to minimize the impact. Or:
2. Fall victim to the lies told by those trying to preserve their vested interest in petrochemicals, and face the consequences of doing nothing.
Follow the Money:
The argument is made that we should look at how much money those people and groups who are sounding the alarm about climate change stand to make. Sure, investigate, there are always people who greedily seek to profit from a crisis. But also investigate the financial motivations of the people and groups DENYING climate change. Why have they spent more than a billion dollars pushing out propaganda, setting up fake experts and fake institutions like Prager U, to convince us that it is a hoax? That billion plus dollars comes from those heavily invested in CO2 production. It is not hard to trace.
Our Current Administration:
The people in our current Trump administration are either victims of the anti-climate change propaganda barrage and choose to believe it rather than our scientific institutions, or, worse, they are in collusion with petrochemical corporations. Considering the background of our current EPA chief, it is hard to believe that it is just ignorance. But whether it is ignorance or corruption, the effect is the same, breaking human unity on facing a problem that will affect our descendants for hundreds, probably thousands of years.
To the media, fair and balanced means putting two people on the screen; one who represents millions of scientists, and another simply because he disagrees and has attracted a lot of attention for it.
Often, the media blows everything out of proportion, trying to scare people for attention. But dismissing the concern because of how poorly it is conveyed is a big mistake.
More conservative media is hesitant to criticize its sponsors and owners, and won’t take a stand on a controversial issue until they are certain that it will be acknowledged as true by almost everyone.
A new media type in the last twenty years, for example Fox News, that tells people only what they want to hear (and makes billions doing it). They have gone a long way toward destroying the credibility of the media. An even worse media variant s basically evil, trying to play on people’s worst emotions, stoking their anger, fear, and righteous indignation. This was heavily used in the last election cycle, mostly by the Republicans, who have thereby created their own Frankenstein’s monster of a president, who is trying to set us back two hundred years in regards to science.
Science is the best source we have for facts about our physical world. About the emotional, mental, etc, worlds, human science knows very little. But climate change is a problem of the physical world, and a lot of excellent work has been done studying the atmosphere and what it effects. Those who have not looked into these studies and reports would be surprised to know the vast amount of data collected and analysis that has been done.
Scientists often disagree over details, such as how well measurements are taken, and speculation about future events. But they are in general agreement on the main premise, and have documented it with many studies of many different aspects: Human CO2 generation and other activities are changing the planet’s climate.
Scientists are human, and among them are those who like the attention they get for disagreeing with anything and everything.
There are scientists who have prostituted their minds to the highest bidder. These are the faculty of Prager U, and other places where scientific sounding presentations are purchased and presented as fact, but skillfully distort the story, and ultimately betray the ideals of science. It would good to see the institution of science do a better job of confronting these people. Also, too often good science is used to bad ends in industries that pollute, spy, create and promote deadly weaponry, etc. This needs to be acknowledged, but it doesn’t undercut the factual nature of what science discovers.
It baffles me to see people openly take an anti-science attitude. I don’t think these people realize just how much science has done for them. Every medical procedure is the result of many careful scientific studies. People are learning the hard way that failing to vaccinate their children puts them in danger of serious diseases. It took hundreds of years of hard work by scientists to create the technology of the cell phone, not to mention the internet, cars, flight, music and video recording, etc. To reject science is to do without a lot of things, or to use them and be a hypocrite.
Not to mention, science saved us from the worst aspects of religion, with many martyrs to its cause. We are no longer required by law to believe religious dogma. It is no longer possible to be brought to trial for heresy, at least not in civilized nations. Unfortunately, the battle that Galileo started does still continue in some places.
Science can’t predict exactly how the Earth will react to the heat trapped by CO2 and other greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide. There may be mechanisms that we haven’t anticipated that will offset it. Other factors, such as a huge volcanic eruption that blocks enough sunlight, may counterbalance the warming. So there may be delays, and ups and downs in the cycle rather than a straight line progression to a warmer world. There is some indication of how things will be based on archaeological records. Sea levels were about 100 feet higher the last time C02 concentrations were this high, about 15 million years ago.
It is clear that coastal flooding in the future is unavoidable at this point, but we can still slow it down and have an effect on how bad it eventually gets if we do something now. The saddest part of the upcoming events will be the many millions of refugees. We can see how poorly the world deals with the refugee problems it already has.
Many species will perish, many places become uninhabitable, if things continue on the current trend. Let’s do what we can to limit the damage!
Some look to God to save us. But, as the saying goes, “God’s will is: you choose”. It is not reasonable to expect any sort of divine intervention to relieve us of the consequences of our choices.
We, in our arrogance, often assume that we are the most important species on the planet. But the intelligent forces of nature may determine that we need to be reined in to save everything else.
Neither of the above offers much hope. But we should also remember that there is a plan for the development of human consciousness, just as there is for the evolutionary progress of all of the natural kingdoms. A realistic plan for Humanity figures in our ignorance, gullibility, evil people, and lousy track record for recognizing the need for unity. Since that plan is made by beings who have gone far beyond those human limitations, yet understand those limitations well, there may be a plan to provide help that is unanticipated. Climate change itself offers humanity an opportunity to advance, and was probably anticipated by them.
Ask your elected representatives what they intend to do about climate change and about the administration’s denial of it. Ask again, until you get a reasonable answer and actions taken on their part.
Elect people who are not ignorant or corrupt in regard to climate change.
Support your local community, city, and state in their efforts to do the right thing.
Look at where it is possible to “go green” in your life. I’m really hoping that before long I can get Tesla roof tiles that charge a battery in my garage that recharges my electric car!
If you have savings, find out where it is invested. Is it in oil companies that are fighting climate change? You have responsibility for what the companies do that your money is invested in.
This is a chance for us to unite in the face of a threat to every individual and every country. This threat is not communism, capitalism, religion, or some other man made social disagreement. How sad that greedy, short-sighted people have preyed on people’s emotions to turn climate change into a controversy that divides us. A united humanity is quite capable of dealing with the problem. And a united humanity is required now for the sake of our children, grandchildren and the destiny of our species. Let’s shine the light in the oil-darkened places, and make the changes needed to derive our energy from the sun and other sources that don’t put our future in jeopardy. Rather than be driven by the suffering resulting from our disunity, let us see that we must act, and not only address the problem but enjoy working together!