I always get a kick out of people who argue with science, with facts. One of the most interesting examples of this are those who choose to deny the undeniable evidence that global warming is indeed a reality. Listening to them is probably what it was like listening to those who argued the earth was flat. But one difference now is that statistics and science, even common observation make it easy to see the reality of climate change.
Global warming is simple. It is the rising average temperature of the earth’s climate system. Quite simple. And you would think it is easy to prove and measure. And it actually is. According to one report, “Since the early 20th century, the global air and sea surface temperature has increased about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), with about two-thirds of the increase occurring since 1980. Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.”
The truth of it has been documented by many scientists from many different disciplines. But why the debate then? The arguments and the denial of the truth are based on what science and observation indicate will happen because of global warming.
The effects will vary but some of the changes due to global warming, some of which have already been seen, are increased heat waves, coastal erosion, rising sea levels, more erratic rainfall and droughts. It is even predicted that the range of diseases and insect pests that are normally limited by temperature could expand.
Like everything else though, from published facts about the dangers of tobacco and the push for warning labels on cigarettes, big business and their political supporters, generally the Republicans, see all this as a liberal movement that will damage big business. The whole matter of laws impacting the emission of greenhouse gases, which are a big factor in global warming, are the root of the debate for many. Climate change deniers see all this as a smokescreen, something orchestrated by liberals and scientists all over the world and from many different and competing disciplines, to put big government’s foot on the throat of big business and the free market. These are the same people I suppose who believe businesses and corporations should be free to do whatever businesses want to do, the environment be damned. Science being just a nuisance, unless of course it can be used to support their pillaging of the earth’s resources and destruction of our very world if left unchecked.
Global warming deniers are nothing more than those who see a conspiracy to stop unlimited freedom to do whatever. But arguing with liberals and politicians is one thing. Denying the volumes of facts that are out there on global warming and climate change is lunacy. I like the interview I saw with astro-physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson who said this about the deniers:
I don’t see people trying to repeal the Law of Gravity just because they are gaining weight. I didn’t see people trying to repeal e=mc squared simply because it conflicted with their political philosophy. These (global warming facts) are emerging scientific truths. So I’m disappointed when I look around and see people cherry-picking the consensus of observation and experimentation that has emerged in science.
I call it selective ignorance. People choosing to ignore facts and logic when it butts up against what they prefer to see as truth. Most people don’t want truth. They want support for their lifestyle and current ways of thinking. Nothing proves this more than the global warming debate. How we are debating something as obvious as this is beyond me. But then again, there is a part of me that believes most of the political deniers and big business deniers know the truth, they are just too short sighted to care. The money they make now inadvertently adding to the damage to the earth is just not a concern. So they can see the evidence but somehow look right past it. And that kind of thinking and selective vision is what will keep us on this path towards the destruction they deny.