Every day, I encounter a new challenge to the idea that things can and should be open and real.

Be it social, political, or personal, serious or trivial -- every time, I ponder the implications.

I hope you'll join me in the conversation!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Convince Me

Last week, a member of the WV Congressional delegation publicly announced that she was “not convinced” that human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide are leading to global climate change.


This was one of the stranger public statements I’d seen from a member of Congress in a long time, and that’s saying something. I’ve been unable to shake how incredibly irritated I am by this “not convinced” claim. It is so anti-intellectual and insulting to her constituency and frankly, to the rest of the world.

Climate change is no longer something we can just say we believe or don’t believe. It’s crazy to me in the face of all of the best science and the wide variety of studies and interpretations from hundreds of professionals the world over to uphold your personal doubt as a reason for opposing policy change. Anyone can see, it’s not doubt, it’s fear and denial. And no plan.

An honest approach to the situation would be to acknowledge that the policy changes required by pollution will, in the short run, pose threats to the old economy. I could get behind a press release acknowledging that reality. But to forestall real issues with claims of needing to be “convinced” is just ridiculous. It’s a fine example of not pursing truth at the highest level.

We need to talk about the profound truth of what we are doing to our world, as well as the profound truth of how long undoing it will take and what the very real consequences of those changes will be on many people. Anyone willing to have that conversation is a real leader. Anyone diverting attention onto false debates is only out for themselves.

1 comment:

Margherite said...

Obtuse comments like the congressperson's seem designed to diffuse (defuse also) responsibility for both causes and solutions. I haven't yet been able to get an answer to my questions concerning the relative contribution of the shock-and-awe bombing indulged in by the last administration compared with, say, soccer moms and their vans. If the solution is as simple as quitting the annihilation of civilians and/or weapons testing, then the responsibility for the cause of global warming falls on the shoulders of folks who are too maladjusted to adapt to a major culture change.