Self Expression Magazine

State of Denial – Why Denying Climate Change Still Isn’t Political Suicide

Posted on the 21 March 2015 by Jhouser123 @jhouser123

I did a post last September about the climate change marches that took place in New York City and in many other places around the country and around the world.  At the time the significance of the matter seemed such that real change would be unavoidable as hundreds of thousands poured into the streets to march in unity over the state of our planet.  Today marks 6 months since the day of that march, and yet the political debate around climate change has not gotten any better.  In fact, it has gotten strange.  Very strange.

In the aforementioned post I wrote about a list of climate change deniers within our government and touched on the significance of having elected officials oppose basic scientific concepts.  It is an unfortunate truth that we currently have people at our highest levels of government who still have not been shut out of office after their insane remarks regarding the state of this planet.  Recently, in one of the most insane things to ever happen on C-SPAN (which isn’t saying much) Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla) tossed a snowball on the senate floor in an attempt to prove that global warming doesn’t exist. This was, as any news story worth anything does, picked up by the Daily Show with John Stewart who was among the first to quite brutally tear into Senator Inhofe’s stance on the issue.  Yet despite this level of national criticism over a seemingly outdated stance on an issue that has been scientifically supported by the vast majority of all scientists, Inhofe has not been removed from office by reason of blatant heresy.

To shed some light on why this might be true, all the further one need look is to a survey conducted by The Pew Research Center and The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  This survey showed that only 50 percent of American adults believe that climate change is mostly due to human activity, and that despite 98% of all scientists surveyed said that humans evolved over time, only 65 percent of Americans think evolution exists.  These numbers should be disturbing, they should be terrifying, they should cause outrage and they should force people to march in the streets in the middle of September.  Oh, wait.

The point here is that the reason denying basic science still hasn’t had half of our elected officials thrown out of office is because they are elected officials.  This is a case when it looks like congress may actually represent the beliefs of the people by which it is elected, but not for the reason you may think (which is another topic entirely).  It is an unfortunate truth that people will cast votes for a person who shares their ideology despite the fact that the ideology in question here is just plain wrong, proven scientifically and openly supported by the people who know what they are talking about.  When I see a list of people who deny climate change, I see a list of people who will not be receiving my vote, but the reality is that there are many people who see that list as a group of brave men and women willing to stand up against the popular beliefs and make decisions in the face of adversity.

At the end of the day, no change will be made until the people who are able to make that change happen are given the education to understand the problems and until they start believing in science again.  There was a time when the scientific community was the voice of reason and everyone knew well enough to listen when the scientists spoke.  Now we live in a country where a senator on TV somehow has more effect on the public’s beliefs on climate change than a climate scientist who has been studying it for 30 years.  I like to think that I am not alone in my belief that something needs to change, and now it is time to start doing something about it.


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