Denying Climate Change Is Choosing to Be Ignorant

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Climate Change
Lake Mead, Nevada — Courtesy of Karen (Flickr CC0)

In the 1950s and 1960s, science made enormous strides in medicine, healthcare, space travel, household appliances, television, and communication, just to name a few. As a child and a young man, these were exciting times.

Look at us now. I use the example of a simple tool that was important 70 years ago and both of greater importance today and the most irritating personal possession by nearly every person in the developed world. It’s called a “telephone.”

As a young man, our family, my mother, brother, and myself, were excited when we could afford a telephone. It was a black and bulky item with a rotary dial and a long black cord. However, it wasn’t ours alone. It was a “party line,” meaning we shared the number with another family.

Today hundreds of millions of men, women, and children have their own private numbers and a phone they carry with them everywhere. It is also a computer, a television, and a GPS locator. It is also an irritating nuisance, considered of more importance than any other possession.

Science is responsible for this marvel.

Scientists agree by a percentage of 95 percent to five that climate change caused by man is the greatest danger to the world, and the time when it is 100 percent irreversible is very near. So, why do millions of Americans deny this irrefutable fact? This is chosen ignorance, not a lack of information.

Climate Change
Courtesy of Matthew Kirby (Flickr CC0)

Here’s one thing that makes my blood pressure rise. I read and hear people saying, “I don’t believe in science.” Science is not an issue that requires belief, it is fact. Claiming that you don’t believe in the science of climate change is as ignorant as saying,” I don’t believe in gravity.” Religions require belief.

Something which cannot be proven, something which demands ‘faith’ is accepted by most men and women who deny that science is real. They are eager to believe in a religion that is part pagan legend and part fairytales. Facts mean nothing to them.

Yesterday London, England, had its hottest day on record. Throughout Western Europe, more than 1,000 people have died related to the extreme heat. Airports are shutting down because the runways are literally melting.

Railroads are not running because the rails are buckling, and forest fires are out of control. Drought caused by climate change is fueling fires of historic proportions. Wildlife, unable to find water or shelter from the extreme heat, are dying all over Europe.

In America, the effects of climate change are being felt in all 50 states. Large parts of Alaska are in flames. In the west, water is more valuable than gold. In the Midwest, a combination of heat and humidity has become a danger to older Americans. The east is experiencing record temperatures, and summer is just completing its first four weeks. The south is unlivable as the levels of humidity make it difficult to breathe.

I live in the Reno, Nevada area. Recently we learned that our area of the United States is warming faster than any other. This area has four distinct seasons. Not only was our snowfall below average, but in Reno, there was not a single drop of measurable precipitation in the month of February. This is a first in Northern Nevada’s history.

I don’t expect to change minds with these facts. Those who choose to deny climate change also choose ignorance. These are the same people who voted for the least qualified candidate in history in the 2016 election. This will be remembered by historians as the greatest mistake in American history. He is a leader in the denial of the indisputable fact that climate change is rapidly destroying our planet.

Although this may not change the minds of those who ignore reality, I feel better.

Op-ed by James Turnage, Novelist


Daily KOS: Science does not require belief, it is not a religion
Daily KOS: Some questions for climate deniers

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Karen’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Matthew Kirby’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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