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Don’t believe. Know.

10.22.09

Understanding something as complex as climate change requires one to know the difference between climate and weather as well as realizing that one needs to gather more evidence than simply noting that it’s cold and raining on a random day in July on the East Coast.

We put way too much emphasis on belief and not enough on fact.  There are factual data that show rises in ocean temperatures and that the polar ice caps are melting.  This is FACT.  There’s nothing debatable to believe nor not believe here.  This isn’t a theory.  This isn’t about something intangible like the afterlife or sin.  This is reality.

Let’s look at things from a really, REALLY basic level.  Say you’re standing at the corner of an intersection when a bus drives by emitting nausea-inducing black smoke wafting your direction.  Why do you suppose that you gag and cover your mouth and hold your breath waiting for fresh air when that happens?  Perhaps the exhaust is full of toxins, chemicals, and gases that generally aren’t good for you.  This we know: carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, etc.  It’s lethal in the right dose.

So, if this concoction of gases causes adverse effects in our body, why is it so hard to believe that it would cause adverse effects in our atmosphere?  The atmosphere – that fragile and delicately balanced array of gases that provide us with the environment ripe for life.  And here we are pumping absurd amounts of toxins into it and then people have the audacity to say they don’t believe that humans are doing anything to cause global warming.

Believe.  Think.

The freedom to think has been confused as meaning the freedom to believe.  As in, believe whatever you want without thinking.  These numbers released that show a large drop in people who believe in global warming is truly scary.  Scary that our education system clearly is failing at teaching science, and the difference between belief and fact.  Instead of pouring money into green business, I say put all of that money into schools.  At the rate we’re going, we won’t have any children left believing in science to implement these green programs.

Although, I am being quite hard on this whole situation.  The problem also lies in the study.  Why even give people the chance to not believe?  The question in the poll should be “Do you know about global warming?” not “Do you believe in global warming?”.

It’s not a matter of belief.  It’s about knowledge.

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