Why Ignoring Climate Scientists Is Illogical- An Analogy

If you are any one of the many people in this country who does not believe in climate change or the roughly 97% of scientists who support it, this article is for you. Before anyone gets in a huff and starts exclaiming “It’s my right to voice my opinion” let me start by saying, “Yes, you do have a right to your opinion”. You also have a right to be wrong, to have your opinion mocked, and to have your opinion challenged.

However, I’m not going to pepper you with facts and figures, graphs and charts. Chances are you will just dig your heels in even more being confronted with such evidence. No, instead, I’m going to present you with a simple analogy that many of you will have had first hand experience with.

When you get sick, have a chronic medical condition, or an exacerbation of a chronic medical condition, what do you do? You go to a health care provider of course. You go to a person who has the scientific and medical knowledge to treat your issue. And while you may go to your primary care provider when you feel sick and think you may have strep throat or pneumonia, if you have something more serious or rare, you see a health care provider that is a specialist like a cardiologist or nephrologist depending on the condition. A health care provider that has even more training and knowledge in a particular field of medicine.

A majority of health care providers agree on what causes disease and the best way to treat it today based on results from studies conducted via the Scientific Method. True, occasionally there will be slight differences of opinion between providers such as if treatment with medication is better than having a surgical procedure. In those instances you get a second opinion and you get that from another health care provider in the same field. And even in those instances, those providers usually still agree on the cause of your condition. They may or may not disagree on the treatment. You also would likely not side with the minority. If you were sitting in the ER and nine doctors said you had a heart attack and needed a stent and the tenth doctor said it was just heartburn, I highly doubt you would take prescription for Pepcid and go home. Finally, excluding patients with chronic conditions such as asthma, migraines, or congestive heart failure who know what their exacerbations feel like, you can’t just read WebMD and have an equivalent expertise to your health care provider.

What you don’t do (or shouldn’t be doing) is go to provider after provider after provider until you find one that gives you the answer you want hear. To see multiple clinicians until you get that unnecessary antibiotic for your common cold or told that you are sick when you aren’t, that’s either doctor shopping and bad medicine or a psychological issue.

What you also don’t do is seek care from a person who is not a health care provider. You would never go to a politician for your ingrown toenail. Even though your heart is a pump, you would not consult a mechanical engineer or plumber to fix it. It would never enter your mind to make an appointment with the CFO of a hospital to get your gallbladder removed. Despite working for the hospital, they deal in finances, not medicine.

So why in the world would you not believe the 97% of scientists whose job and expertise it is to study climate change? Why would you go outside of those experts, say with a politician or CEO of a fossil fuel company, to get your information on said topic? Why would you assume you know more than the scientists who have studied this for years? Why would you go with the 3% of scientists who disagree? It makes absolutely no sense. In doing so, you are doing the equivalent of doctor shopping. You don’t care what the actual facts are, you just want to find the person who will say your opinion is right and damn the facts. I hate to break it to you, that’s not how it works.

Stop Making Assumptions About My Politics

There is a lot that annoys me but what annoys me most of recent are people so bereft of logic, they immediately assume since I speak out frequently against Trump, I must be for Clinton. It’s just as bad as those who can’t comprehend you can be against war and still support out troops. I realize that many people are unable to think outside the box and divorce themselves from the dogma and ideology of the two party system our government shoves down our throats (or that any situation can have more than two answers / opinions  / outcomes / etc). And as such, you can’t view the political views of others without confining it to the narrow definition of government you maintain. Just STOP IT! Honestly, stop it. It’s a narrow minded and grossly incorrect viewpoint that does not apply to a great many of us.

And let me be clear, I am not Pro-Clinton. Let me say it another way. I’m not for Trump AND I’m not for Clinton. My overall feeling is that she is as fake as they come, she is a conservative wolf in sheep’s clothing, and while she pushes for a lot of liberal social issues that I am for, she only does so to cover and mitigate other conservative agendas. I have nothing against the President being a woman. There are women who I would like to see President. Just not Clinton.

So now you are thinking, “Oh, he’s gonna waste his vote for on a third party”. The truth is I will likely be voting for a third party candidate of some kind. However, it’s not a waste. YOU only think it’s a waste because a vote for a third party may jeopardize your candidate winning. The reality is, if you and your beloved two party system would actually produce decent candidates instead of the dreck we have, you wouldn’t have to worry about a third party vote raining on your parade. You and your two party system are to blame for people wanting to vote outside of them. It’s time to be accountable and own up to it.

Honestly, I don’t think trying to introduce a third party by way of voting in a third party President every four years is a sound plan. Actually, it’s a rather bad plan. Even if elected, that President would have to battle against both parties in Congress. It would be a much more sound plan to build from the ground up. To get third party politicians elected to state assemblies, state governors, and then Congress so that if a third party president is elected, they would then have allies in Congress. Unfortunately, until then, the presidential elections are one of the few avenues we have to voice our displeasure and dissent of the two parties. Sadly, it seems that third parties don’t even have the ability to merge with and/or affect the dominate two. Which is not how it should be.

While I can’t speak with any proof, I would wager that most of the public view the Democratic and Republican parties as linear parties that have existed since the dawn of our country with little evolution of their values. That has certainly been true in recent years but that is not what our government is meant to be. Our government was meant to grow and evolve with time not become a static process of two unchanging parties or to evolve to a certain point and stop. Even with a cursory look at the below graph, one can see a dramatic difference prior to 1900.political_parties_posterParties formed and unformed, politicians more frequently went from one party to another, and other parties formed and absorbed into others, thereby affecting some change. You see far less of it after 1900. What is truly sad is that the two parties we have today have become exclusive groups of a sort, barely acknowledging third parties as legitimate competitors (i.e. not letting them debate) and building up a defense against third parties affecting change upon them. Bernie Sanders and his followers may be an exception, but only time will tell.

So why am I so much harder on Trump than Clinton? First, I expect it from Clinton. She is a career politician that is part of the problem. It’s no surprise to me. I take no issue with the attacks lobbied against her and I take no issue with those who oppose her. While I don’t attack her as much as Trump, I also don’t defend her. Second, Trump and those that support him invite it on themselves. Again, it’s your own fault. As much as Trump amazes me his supporters, their defense of him, and their flawed arguments for him amaze me even more. The two most common arguments for him are “He can’t be bought” and “He speaks his mind”.

The “He can’t be bought” reasoning is absolutely ridiculous. I’ve pointed this out prior so I apologize if you are reading it again. The reason he can’t be bought is because he is usually the buyer. If you elect him, all you are doing is cutting out the middle man. Instead of electing the bought politician, you are electing the man who would have bought the politician. The wealthy and politicians have been in bed together since the beginning scratching each others backs. To think Trump has become some altruistic friend of the poor and middle class who will push for legislation to benefit us is ignorant and laughable. Trump is only looking out for Trump and his fellow wealthy upper class cronies.

As for speaking his mind, I understand the yearning for a politician who speaks their mind and gives honest answers. In a time when politicians do nothing but answer around questions, avoid questions, lie, and insult their opponents, I agree it would be a nice change. However, speaking one’s mind is not always good. Let’s take a look at just some examples of Trump speaking his mind.

  • “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”- I truly don’t understand how conservatives, especially those in the military defend this statement. It is a complete slap in the face to our soldiers and POW’s.
  • “Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!”- When speaking out reveals your own ignorance that Scotland voted to stay in the EU. Do you really want a president with such a poor understanding of the world outside of the U.S.
  • “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next President?”- Trump on Carly Fiorina. So what does her looks have to do with politics? How about some actual facts as to why she should not be elected instead of just insulting her? Classic non-answer.
  • Lets not forget him mocking a handicapped person. Very classy, so presidential. Tell me again how you excuse that?
  • “I know words, I have the best words,”- I rest my case.

Here’s the thing, I don’t disagree he is speaking his mind without a filter. It’s just not worth anyone’s admiration. I’m pretty sure most of you Trump supporters would correct and/or punish your children to some degree if they mocked a handicapped person or if they made fun of how someone looked. If you wouldn’t, then you have a problem and probably shouldn’t have kids. If you would but for some reason you think it’s OK for a grown man to do so and be President, you still have a problem.

At the end of the day, Trump’s version of speaking his mind is no different than other politicians practicing politics as usual. He still talks around questions rather than answering them, he still lies, he still insults opponents like every other politician. He just does it louder, with more vitriol, and with more ignorance than other politicians. He is more concerned with how powerful he looks, not wanted to show any weakness or admit being wrong, just like every other politician. The argument that he speaks his mind is a farce. It is an unsupported argument.

You know what would be a politician speaking their mind in a true and admirable way. A politician who actually answers a question with facts or at least opinions based on stated facts instead of some vague response or insult. A politician who has the strength to say, “I was wrong” and not be concerned about appearing as some infallible leader. You know they are human, I know they are human, how about they actually act like it.

Clinton does none of these things. Trump does none of these things however he goes over the top with his rhetoric, insults, and non-answers. I go after Trump way more than Clinton because he provides far more fodder to show his ignorance and ineptitude. If you can’t see it or understand that, I’m sorry for your blindness to it. Regardless, stop making the sad, tunnel visioned, binary, incorrect assumption that those of us against Trump are also for Clinton.