We went to the gym this morning, where we try to go at least three times a week, to move and improve our mature selves. And there we encountered an acquaintance, a basically lovely individual who joins us in supporting our local library, who lives in an area where some of our dearest friends live. And the weather having been the topic of news, concern, interest, all that, for several weeks now, and the day being damp and chilly, the subject of it being damp and chilly came inevitably up. And to the comment by our acquaintance that it is damp and chilly, of course I replied that at least it was nothing as bad as in most of the rest of the country today, what with record snows and record cold and most areas being brought to a standstill, but here being only damp and chilly. And she replied to me that the cold and snow and ice certainly meant “so much for global warming,” as if changes to our planet were being refuted. We could only chuckle noncommittally as we walked off, but the entire encounter, while I was continuing my exertions, left me with lots of questions.
So here are some of the questions that popped into my mind that I would like to direct to all the scoffers of global warming: Have they never used a thermometer to check for fever? Have they never turned a pancake over on a griddle? Have they never watched TV or used a phone or driven an automobile or just ridden in an automobile? Oh, my, the list is very long. And yet each one of these events, plus just about everything in modern human life, deals with science. With agricultural science, with meteorological science, with medical science, with engineering science, with electrical science – that list is even longer than my question list. So why is it that a huge number of fellow humans on this planet blithely accept all of the inventions and tools that seem to just fall into our little paws without questioning sources, and yet would prefer to believe, rather than scientists, the people who make so much wealth from ignoring science, the owners of coal mines, the owners of natural gas and oil producing companies, the owners of manufacturers whose products fill our air with measurable solids that we actually breathe, all those who spend huge amounts of money to push the denial of science?
But I know it will do no good to ask my questions. It will only offend the folks who are already dedicated to ignoring scientists and ignoring facts that we are presented with on just about every newscast. But why? Some of it is fear and frustration because of a sense of helplessness. Some of it is, of course, the refusal of listening, observing and forming conclusions rather than just accepting the naysayers. And some of it, perhaps, is indifference, the saddest thing of all.