Recently I took part in an on-line poll at Facebook, that asked: “Is global warming a myth?” I was astonished to learn just how many people, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, actually thought that global warming is a myth. The poll numbers were astounding: 49% YES, 46% NO and 5% DIDN'T CARE. This triggered the following response from me.
“For so many people on this poll not to understand the nature of this world is overwhelming. They all must live in cities where they think of nature as some far off distant planet or be totally ignorant and uncaring about learning about something so significant. Yes, global warming is happening and it doesn't take much to travel to where you can see it first hand. Please open your minds and learn something. And learn that you can do something about it by intelligent research and acting to help the people trying to keep the ecosystems that keep us alive, working. Stupidity is not bliss.”
While I know this poll is not scientific and most polls on Facebook usually attract a certain amount of juvenility, I still find the response incredible, if for no other reason than almost sixty thousand people participated in the poll. Can the 49% who voted YES, all be that ignorant, or uneducated or are they just playing the devil-may-care attitude and having fun with others on Facebook?
Some approach the subject as political, but global warming is not a political matter. It is a human matter comprised of real science, and most scientists are extremely worried about the time it is taking for some governments to understand and work toward trying to solve the problem. This is an impending danger to all humanity on the planet. And the sooner everyone in all countries know this, and gets working on a solution, the better prepared we will be to minimize global destruction by taking extreme measures to slow the process. And as long as it is being politicized, people on the skeptical side of the issue will continue to sway many unthinking and uninterested people into believing that this is all a hoax.
Reason and rational thought are a product of the maturing mind, which combines research and investigation to discover the rationalization of truth; i.e. discovering mathematical theory or reading a map to find your way around the globe, or learning to boil an egg. The ancient Greeks believed that our soul has two parts: an Irrational part with emotions and desires, and a Rational part, which is our true self. So before we humans can understand the world, we first need to understand ourselves, through rational thought and moral development. In doing so, we compel ourselves to seek our own integrity and the truth. However, when we don’t do the research, and we act with our emotions and desires (wishing for another outcome), we fail to see the ‘forest for the trees’ and we tend to bypass the truth. Thus, we can remain ignorant of something that, for the sake of a little research, is within our own grasp.
The truth of global warming is out there for all to see. The science is logged for all to read. The evidence is ready for all to explore. Yet, too many people continue to hinge on the side of misinformation and they keep themselves intentionally ignorant. They are willing to accept what they are told without question.
As science has improved, the detection of global warming has found that we are accelerating toward catastrophic consequences for our planet. Those of us who do realize what is happening are getting more worried. Hence, the real message needs to be stronger to educate the skeptics and the uninformed. Because, if we fail the earth, we fail humanity.
Life as we know it is going to change drastically in the next few years. And just as there aren't many people left who think the earth is flat, it won't be long before everyone will know that global warming is real. We will all be able to see it in our own front yards. I just hope it will not be too late to save the billions of people who will be displaced, hurt or wiped out in the process.
My hope is that at least some part of humanity will be saved from this horrendous consequence of misguided and mismanaged technology gone wrong, and our knowledge, past and present, will be available for future generations.
"Global warming is too serious for the world any longer to ignore its danger or split into opposing factions on it."
- Tony Blair
"We have many advantages in the fight against global warming, but time is not one of them. Instead of idly debating the precise extent of global warming, or the precise timeline of global warming, we need to deal with the central facts of rising temperatures, rising waters, and all the endless troubles that global warming will bring. We stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great. The most relevant question now is whether our own government is equal to the challenge."
- John McCain
"With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people? It sure sounds like it."
- James Inhofe
"Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true."
"People tend to focus on the here and now. The problem is that, once global warming is something that most people can feel in the course of their daily lives, it will be too late to prevent much larger, potentially catastrophic changes.
- Elizabeth Kolbert
"To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else."
- Bernadette Devlin