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Opinion and Philosophical Piece – Climate Change and Thought Polarization

What really kills me is that after intensive research and a true search for answers, opinions can be dismissed easily. A friend of mine quickly dismisses my opinion. That is fine, but I do think it is scary how quickly we take others’ opinions as fact so quickly, without a thought, and we become dependent upon others’ expertise. If that were the case I could quickly succumb to the opinions of whoever is in power. At one time, Nazi Germany probably truly believed they were in the right. Palestinians and Jews today both believe they are in the right. It was once acceptable to deny an individual their rights in the U.S. based upon the color of their skin.

The point I am making is that the greatest power someone can take from you is your ability to think for yourself. I used dire examples but when you stop asking questions and trust only in the power of others, you lose your power. That is why these discussions are very important and I am glad we are having them. If you do not consider all options available, how can you know you chose the best option?

My friend and I have agreed to disagree on climate change. I am sad about it.  I am truly terribly sad. “Climate change” is not a yes or no question. Climate change is a vast concept that we try to explain only inclusively. For example, if I say we are polluting, littering, emitting more carbon monoxide or sulfurs – agreeing we are contributing to these global problems – yet I disagree that these have “significant” effects on global warming…. If I do all these things and contest the global warming issue I am going to climate hell and condemned to eternal damnation. Why does this have to be all or nothing?

Why am I the weird one when we have experienced exponential growth in transportation and supernatural growth in the industrialization of India and China over the course of the past two decades and we have cooled? This has been an extraordinary emissions and pollutant addition and the world has cooled!  Why is that logical questioning so damning?

I do believe we (humans) have impacted our climate. I think transportation emissions, the industrialization of the two largest populations, and mere expansion of the world population have contributed to climate changes. I just do not believe it to be on a cataclysmic scale. Am I going to climate hell for not believing to the same degree as someone else? In fact, have we measured scientifically to the exact degree everyone believes in climate change. It is all a matter of perception. Perceptions differ from person to person. Shall we measure that as well?

What I have seen from scientists discussing the hot topics of the day is that when they get together and discuss the facts, multiple concessions are often made. This is from both sides. In reality, after the discussion, the two are fairly close in terms of history and facts. Also, believe it or not, when together I have been surprised as to the extent each are willing to offer conditional concessions resulting in policy positions that are not that far apart. At the same time, I have noticed post debate polarized rhetoric – as if the conversation never took place. What gives?

 

This blog post appeared first on www.economicnudity.com.  Your voice cannot be heard if you do not speak it.  Your position cannot be defended unless you substantiate it.  Speak now.  Defend here.  Ask questions.  We all have so much to learn in our limited time.

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