On Climate Change & Conservatism
(published on 03/02/2017 in the Roswell Daily Record, Letter to the Editor)
A lot of us are getting tired of fighting the same fights over and over again.
Take Climate Change: the science may not be settled, but the consensus is clear. From NASA to NOAA, to respected scientific bodies around the world including the Union of Concerned Scientists, the American Meteorological Society, and the Royal Society of the United Kingdom--and many, many more--every scientific body worthy of respect agrees: climate change is real, and human activity plays a significant role.
I write this knowing full well that almost every conservative in Roswell who reads these words will laugh, remember something they saw on Fox News, and say of me "what a stupid liberal."
A local writer recently said that Climate Change was only a theory, and not a very good one. He said "A theory is based on a set of premises or arguments that must all be 100 percent valid or true to reach a logical conclusion."
That's not what a theory is at all. A theory is basically the best explanation science has about a phenomenon, and it's only good until a better theory comes along. Our understanding of something as basic as gravity is still a theory.
Meteorology, or the study of the weather, is a science based on theories, but since the weatherman's predictions aren't 100% right each and every time, would conservatives have you think that it's bunk? Imagine living in a world like that? Imagine if there were no more weather reports because Republicans decided that it was fake science.
It's disheartening in the extreme to live in a country with so many people who think like that. You can talk till you're blue in the face...you can stack facts and reports that support your claim up to the ceiling, but conservatives will remember something snide that Tucker Carlson said and tell you to your face that you're wrong based on that alone.
And this is just one example among an overwhelming trend among conservatives to resist change at all costs, even if the facts indicate that change in a certain direction would be wise.
After years of trying to understand the hold that the GOP has over the working-class conservative mind, I've reached this conclusion: Republicans pander to bigots, and exploit the ignorant, and that's how they maintain control over so many people.
Tell a racist joke, and Republicans will wink at you for not being Politically Correct. Say something as blatantly ignorant as how a theory is always 100% valid, and they'll smile and say that you're right...as long as you keep voting for them.
Liberals don't do that. Bigotry and ignorance are the antithesis of everything for which liberals stand.
At this time, we are living in what is--I am certain--the most dangerous era our country has seen since WWII. If there were ever a time when it was a person's duty to face facts, that time is now.