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Rated: 13+ · Book · Other · #1836624
January 2016 (30 Day Blogging Challenge)
#871598 added January 24, 2016 at 6:26am
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1/24 Climate Change Authorities
Climate Change Authorities

Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

About a year or so ago, I was driving with a colleague back from our offices In Rochester and looking for conversation to establish a bit more rapport and to pass the time for this hour ride. He is a conservative republican, with a strong religious belief system, as well as being a gun enthusiast. He also mentioned that he was a creationist. It was a real struggle to find common ground. After carefully broaching several topics that went no where fast, I went to a topic I knew we could agree on - the state of our planet. I was shocked when he went on for 45 minutes in a state of complete disagreement. He told me that I was slated because I gained my information from the liberal media (apparently I did not read the conspiracy websites he claimed were more knowledgeable than mainstream news networks and scientific data), that there was no proof (photos of glacier disappearance were just natural occurrences), and that not ALL scientists agreed ( 97% is not nearly enough). This is an intelligent man with an MBA and 15 years of senior management experience. But he is not a scientist, he is not a geologist and apparently he is not living in reality.

There is no question that global warming is real and at this point I can't even get angry anymore. If you question it, I simply have to walk away, with a lessen opinion of you and a commitment to refuse further discussion on any topic that matters.

The point here is not global warming, it is the distressing epidemic that I like to call Ignorance Pontification. This is my term that I define as a state of close mindedness where a person chooses to ignore all facts and reality on a specific topic and then adamantly defend his/her view in utter confidence. Unfortunately we hear these people EVERYWHERE and sometimes we even engage in it ourselves.

Let's face it we cannot be experts on every topic all the time. Where we get our information, how we process that information, our previous experiences and our hopes (among other things) all influence our opinions on a topic. That is fine - that is great - it is what makes our human fabric so interesting. However, we need to understand as individual thinking beings, that any one can make an authoritative comment and that anyone (especially online) can claim to be an expert. If we choose to accept information from non-experts and assign credibility to those charlatans, we are working from flawed examples.

I just had to back down on a topic yesterday. My family was at my place celebrating my son's 20th birthday. My son was discussing a paper he wrote on fracking (he was for it). I freaked out claiming how horrible it was for the environment...that it polluted water levels, that if caused sink holes...I was on a role with my convictions. Then my brother (also a fracking fan) discussed two books he read by leading experts refuting the claims I was making. I thought about it and realized I had not done the research, I was gaining my information from a few news stories and my personal feelings. Maybe fracking is horrific or maybe not - the point is I did not have enough information to pursue the argument. I learned a great deal about it from my son and brother (at least their perspective from their research). If I am that interested, I will do my own research. In the meantime I will offer my opinions and listen to the opinions of others.

Take my favorite clown Donald Trump. Is he a successful businessman? Well the facts show a hotel empire, relatively popular reality tv show and financial excess so that tells me yes - he appears to have financial, marketing and business success. Does he have political experience? Does he make constant claims his exceptional knowledge health, abilities and just about everything? He makes erroneous statements (I am being nice - they are actually outright lies) but with such conviction that he makes his "followers" believe him. The sad part is that voters will accept his comments as expert and make there decisions based on that flawed reality.

For me the bottom line is that we all have opinions but we need to base those opinions on actual facts and those facts should come from reliable, expert sources. When 97% of experts agree that we are in a state of global warming, any one who disagrees sounds less than intelligent and not worth the time of the conversation.

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