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.

ATTENTION: The government is broken… But still kinda great

What if our current form of government is, at the same time, the best thing out there and hopelessly broken?
(I know this is my music page, but this is too long for a Facebook post and I don’t have a socio-political blog… Yet?)

The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. What started out as a great and effective paradigm could have just naturally run it’s course. It’s conceited, narrow minded, ignorant, and lacks immense foresight to think that our form of government could work well indefinitely without a major overhaul if not being replaced completely. This is true for most form of government; Monarchies, pure socialism (which looks good on paper, but doesn’t work in practice), etc. all have had their chances and did not survive. And while broken, our country is still a better place to live than many other countries that are ruled by dictatorships and puppet leaders (another issue for another time). It is narcissistic to think that another, better form of government has not been developed or does not exist yet. It could be a hybrid tiered form of government with a socialist working body that addresses the needs of the public only and a Capitolist administrative body that oversees? It could be something entirely different yet to be developed or perhaps someone already has but feels it is futile to pursue due to the strangle hold our current system has. So long as the old guard are in place and the public perpetuates their existence, power and this myth of having a choice in government, we will never know if something better exists. The country is its own worst enemy.

Ideas like term limits for congressmen/women are definitely needed and a single six year Presidential term I also think is a great idea. And what if it’s too late? What if these are just temporary fixes delaying the inevitable; more band aids that can’t fix a bleeding system? I have no faith in either the government nor our businesses running programs like universal healthcare or Social Security. The government has become corrupt and inept while banks/big business are corrupt and greedy. Both wind up hurting the public.

Banks run amuck, unwatched, utilizing shady business practices which leads them them and the public to financial trouble (practices that if John Q. Public public tried to use, these same banks would put their foot down and say it can’t be done). Then the government bails them out, the big wigs gives themselves raises, and still screws over the little guy. Politicians from the most conservative Republican to the most liberal Democrat are working for the banks and big business, not for you and me. They are just a collective overinflated egos taking turns being pimps and whores in bed with each other (I apologize to workers in the sex industry for demeaning your trade by comparing you with politicians or impugning you in any way. Seriously). And those who don’t play ball will never get any real power to effect change. Big business still operates oversees taking advantage of those workers, reducing jobs here, and neither party has or will do anything about it except give the public a lot of lip service. Corporations stripping and damaging the earth finding new ways to screw it up. Yes, things like extinction of a species happen without people and we are accelerating those things. Even if the world is fine in the immediate future, it won’t be for your descendants. Government keeps taking away money and benefits from important public services like Police, Fire, and EMS. The government keeps spending money to try and fix problems elsewhere in the world (misusing, underpaying, and disrespecting our troops in the process) without batting an eyelash yet throws a hissy fit when it comes to spending money on better education or feeding our starving children. They took 10 years to pass The First Responder Act to cover medical costs for those responding on 9/11?!? Ten years!!! That should have been passed immediately. And they still left out cancer saying it couldn’t be linked. They spend gobs of money, time and/or resources on a failed “war on drugs” which has done nothing to decrease drug abuse and perpetuates the myth that a marijuana is a gateway drug more dangerous than chemically unnatural pharmaceuticals. Yet real threats like rapists and child molesters get subpar sentences or have their cases swept under the carpet. There are numerous more examples of ineptitude, gross failures, and hypocrisy I’m sure. These are the characteristics of a broken system.

In the end, ALL the politicians and pundits lie to the public and most of the public eat it up like a shit sandwich disguised as a Kobe beef burger with all the fixings*. They spin everything until it’s anything but the truth and people who are extremely smart all the sudden get dumb and swallow this political dogma whole. And every fourth year, they pull a lever (literally or figuratively) expecting change they will never see.

I see a lot being said that we are getting soft as a nation. I don’t disagree. Most of it centers around things like every kid getting a trophy just for participation in sports (wrong and a very small piece of the issue) or bullying (which has gone to extremes like everything else in this country. We need to both prepare our kids to defend themselves AND do everything possible to stop bullying in the first place. Seriously folks, stop being counter productive by zoning in on half the solution). I think there is a far more pressing example. Thomas Jefferson said, ” I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”, and as politicians on both sides are fond of quoting our founding fathers, I find it relevant to reference a quote they seem to never mention. The most blatant example of how we have grown soft is that most of thin country would rather keep the status quo than risk a revolution that would upend and revamp the government. While it’s obvious the politicians don’t want this as they would lose their privileged lifestyles as could the rich, many of the public has become complacent and are afraid of risking what creature comforts they have. I can understand that, perhaps even share that to some degree. While I’ve never actually considered being a revolutionist, that day may be coming, and if it starts without me, I know what side I’m fighting for.

* As a side note, if you were someone who routinely ordered Kobe beef in 2012 and prior, you were duped by the food industry and government as real Kobe beef was not allowed in the US before very late in 2012. Sorry, again you bought a lie.