Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why Are We Still Talking About This? Blog Action Day 2009

Yes,I am one of those annoying people that likes to quote their favorite movies and TV shows. And one of those favorites is Firefly, the short-lived but extremely well written space-opera with a western overtone. In one of the episodes, Capt. Mal Reynolds brings his ship and crew into danger to rescue a brother and sister that have caused him nothing but trouble.

After the rescue, the brother (Simon) attempts to figure out why Mal would risk everyone else, his ship and his own life to come back for them. When Mal replies that he has a responsibility to protect his crew, Simon pushes the issue, giving all the reasons Mal should NOT have taken the risk.

Mal's response is full of loyalty and incredulity that the explanation he has already given is not so obvious as to defy all further discussion.

"You're on my crew. Why are we still talking about this?"

This last statement is how I feel about the validity of climate change. Why are we still talking about this?

Yes, there are scientists, especially in the United States, who argue against the existence of climate change and even more who argue against it being human-influenced. However, there are also scientists to be found who still argue about the validity of evolution, or the nature of gravity, or the curvature of the earth. Who say the moon landings were faked. That whites are genetically superior to other races. A Phd does not make one intelligent or ethical... only educated.

In the nineteen-fifties, there where hundreds of doctors who argued that smoking was not only not addictive and harmless, but actually said it was good for you. Why? Because they were PAID to do so. Take a look at the money-trail around some of these so-called Climate Change Deniers. How many of them can trace major funding back to people looking for precisely these kind of findings?

And no, I am not gonna do that research for you. Because when 99 out of a 100 say a thing and it is not going to benefit them personally and in fact cause hardship or at least a reduction of ease in their lifestyle, I tend to believe the 99. Especially when the 1% in question is screaming at the top of their lungs and the 99% are looking at him querulously and saying "Why are we still talking about this?"

Scientists love to get to the bottom of things. It is part of the reason they became scientists. A scientist deciding something is not worth the argument is like Glenn Beck deciding a Tea Party protest is not worth Fox News coverage. Both rare and puzzling.

So quit arguing about whether it is happening. Look around. Doctors had to quit taking the tobacco blood money when the lung cancer cases became so obvious there was no legitimate way to disguise their bias. Look at the fires this decade in Southern California. Look at Polar Bears drowning because there is not enough ice. Look at the shrinking glaciers. Look at the long term trend in temperatures.

It's obvious. It's happening. And if we are not wholly to blame, we are at least accelerating the process.

It's time to quit talking about whether or not the soup is burning and turn down the heat on the stove.

Why are we still talking about this?