We are all deniers of Global Warming.
We are inclined to be very hard on global warming deniers accusing them of stupidity and much worse. This may not be justified, since we are also deniers but to a different extent.
This is not just an intellectual issue of understanding the essential scientific facts and accepting them- it involves most of our emotions too, much more than almost any other issue. And when we deal with emotions and long-held beliefs it is extremely hard, some times impossible, to alter them.
Those of us who claim that they fully understand the danger of global warming and believe we need to cut down our greenhouse gases to stabilize the climate, are also deniers of some serious aspects of global warming, such as the likelihood of catastrophic events and runaway temperatures that would make our globe uninhabitable!
Very few of us grasp internally the immensity and the time-criticality of this global problem and, therefore, we rarely act with energy, consistency, and with outrage, to influence the fight against GW. We have to pressure national decision-makers: Congress members, to change our business-as-usual approach to GW.
How can we believe that GW is dangerous to human survival and still say: "leave coal plants operating," "do not increase my cost of energy," or "I want to drive as I much as want," "wind turbines and power lines are important, but not in my back yard,"-which are just a few examples how we continue to ignore the severity of GW.
It is not surprising that we just talk and not act, no one can be blamed for it- it is the American way of concentrating on personal satisfaction first and foremost, and on national or global issued last -even when they are the survival of civilization!
Again, it is a highly emotional issue and many can not deal with it in a rational way - that is, making sacrifices commensurate with the immense danger we are all facing. Instead of action, of pressuring Congress, we feel good because we are on the correct side of the issue. We feel good knowing that GW is serious, but we do not do a thing to change the situation. We want our comfort above all.
This is NOT an intellectual pursuit. Knowing the facts about GW does not alter our life-long beliefs of how the world operates. And our own world seems to be so stable and benign now - why should we reduce our comfort, let some one else pressure Congress. "Anyhow, it does not matter what I do."
The fact is that we have people on all sides of the GW spectrum, from those, on the Right, to the Left:
1. Those who do not accept the existence of GW at all,
2. Those who admit it exists but not man- made, so we do not have to do anything,
3. Those who agree it is "man-made" but we have time to slowly modify our energy production, such as continue to use coal power plants,
4. Those towards the Left, who believe time is critical and we need to make major reduction in energy consumption and move fast to depend on green technologies ASAP.
5. But even those do not grasp the full gravity of the issue; they too want the comfort of our wasteful society and expect our careless way to continue.
And any shades in between the above. It is a continuous spectrum of deniers that interfere with our national ability to act decisively to curtail GW. To act with some clear disturbances to our customary way of running our society.
It is not surprising that we have such a wide spectrum of "deniers." GW is the most disturbing development in modern human history, after we emerged from the last ice age 12,000 years ago. A substantial part of the population is unable to grasp GW because of lack of education combined with inability to grasp complex issues of this magnitude. And others are not able to grasp the evolving danger since it is in the distance and did not touch their own world yet.
Fear often moves people to action, but by the time we are able to sense, see, feel the severe damages from GW it would be too late. The train would have left the station already. Clear signs are already here: melting of the polar ice, melting of the Greenland glaciers and most of the glaciers around the world- but we do not see that and do not feel the impact. So why worry? Some one else will deal with it....
We need more people to dedicate themselves to fight GW. I hope you have the ability and courage to be different, to care enough about humanity to seriously get involved because it is very hard to move out of our comfort zone to fight global warming. It takes inner dedication, consistency of thinking, continuous courage, to overcome our natural desire to ignore this problem.
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