Sunday, February 14, 2010

"I Don't Believe in It"

Now and then on the subject of climate change, you hear those words. I usually reply that it's not a religion. It's not a belief system, it's a set of facts. Take the "germ theory." When germs were first discovered in the 19th century, there was widespread resistance and even outrage. But pretty much everybody nowadays accepts that germs bring disease. That's because all the reputable scientists say so, and it's been proven over and over.

So I've been encouraged in recent years that people seem to be listening, taking in the scary news about climate, waking up. The media is paying real attention, reporting the scientific evidence as fact.

But apparently the recent snowstorms in D.C are being touted by tea party types as proof that global warming is "untrue." Blizzards in Washington? Doesn't that sound screwy to you? Most people grasp by now that such extreme weather events, from hurricaines to wildfires, are becoming more and more frequent and violent. It's what's called empirical evidence. But fear does strange things, and denial is seductive and comfortable.

The logical conclusion to avoiding climate chaos is a drastic change in the oil-driven, consumer-worshipping way of life too many people call "American." Let's not face that subversive, disturbing thought at all!

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