Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Global warming, who me worry?

Interesting article, "Why aren't we more worried about global warming", in the MinnPost by Don Shelby. He wonders why, when 97% of the world's climate scientists and experts believe global warming to be occurring as the result of human activity, two thirds of Americans still believe there is a lot of debate among scientist about climate change.  Among the naysayers are the current group of Republican presidential candidates.  Could their indifference possibly be related to the interests of big business, or could it be fear of upsetting the comfortable, wasteful habits of affluent Americans? As Al Gore's movie so succinctly stated, it is indeed an inconvenient truth.

This article suggests that rather than point people to frightening scenarios, it is better to win others over by relating to ways in which they can be a part of the change.  People are more likely to work toward change when they can be convinced of the benefits to human health, rather than reacting to frightening scenarios.

The increasingly severe weather patterns will hurt most those living in poverty, who have little shelter from the elements or financial reserves.  The wealthy have more buffers to insulate themselves from the multitude of harmful effects of climate change.  It is without doubt that our nation's decision makers are much more sensitive to the needs of big business and wealthy campaign donors and lobbyist than they are to others less affluent.  So, it is that we must continue to advocate and work to gain the attention of our nation's policy makers, many of whom don't seem to terribly concerned that their continued inaction may lead our world's state of health to a point of no return.  And, as I've come to more fully appreciate, we must be the change we want to see in the world.

Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.   Margaret Mead

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