Back in elementary school, in the very early ’80s, I remember hearing about global climate change for the first time. I was probably in second grade, and our class was talking about the future. (Speculating about the year 2000 was a popular diversion in the ’80s.) My project for this unit was building a model of the moon base that we were supposed to have by 2000, and just thinking about such a distant time was very exciting.
Even back then I was a skeptic, and I recall listening to the discussion of how industrial pollution combined with the greenhouse effect could raise the temperature of the earth by a noticeable amount and thinking, “Well, I’m going to wait and see before I believe that one.”
After 30 years of observation, I’ve determined that global climate change is undeniable to me, and I don’t get how anyone who’s been alive more than 20 years can pretend that things haven’t changed. Do you know how hard it is to get 97% of scientists in a particular field to agree on any new idea? I mean, you can wave the correlation-does-not-equal-causality flag all day if it pleases you, but you have to admit that hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, earthquakes, floods, and heat waves are happening with greater frequency/intensity. You don’t even have to admit that this has anything to do with human activity, but you do have to admit that it’s happening.
And yet some people don’t.
This is baffling to me. A recent issue of National Geographic addressed what seems, in America, like a basic war on science, but the concept that a person’s religious faith or political belief could dictate their perception of observable phenomena remains perplexing. Large freighters are navigating the Northwest Passage. The entire population of an island in Papua New Guinea was forced to relocate because their home is now underwater. Sugar maple production in New England has dropped measurably.
If you honestly believe that there is no such thing as climate change, you’re hanging your laundry in the rain.