What can be done about climate change | PostIndependent.com

What can be done about climate change

David Schroeder
New Castle

It surprised me that my recent letter bringing up global climate change in relation to the rejection of a solar array in New Castle elicited no replies. A little web-surfing revealed to me a probable cause:

“There seem to be parallel modes of processing information, a rational mode and an emotional mode. The experiential predisposition of the individual processing the information strongly influences the degree and direction of the predominant emotional response.”

This 2006 paper by Anthony Leiserowitz of the University of Oregon discusses the paradox that while 68 percent of Americans at that time were at least somewhat concerned about global damage from anthropogenic climate change, only 13 percent were concerned about effects on their locality or family. Perceived distance of the problem in time contributed to this discrepancy as well.

Different studies discuss the inability of facts to change the minds of climate change deniers. Indeed, it seems to reinforce their beliefs. The prospect of significant action to mitigate the coming disasters must look beyond argument with the deniers. Those who have placed the issue further down on their lists of priorities but are still open to reason should revisit the current science, including evaluation of the persistent denial of climate change by right wing talk radio and the fossil fuel industry.

There are steps which can be taken to slow or reverse climate change. The effort can include methods to eliminate the current state of affairs where industries make private profit and have taxpayers cover the costs of repairing damage to the environment. It can even improve the economy. The recent op-ed by Hank Paulson, Treasury secretary under President George W. Bush, is instructive in this regard.

Most important is to be sure you are registered to vote so you can prevent climate change deniers such as Cory Gardner, Scott Tipton and Ted Cruz from holding public office. Their strategy of “all of the above” for energy development is merely a cover for not just keeping the status quo, but for increasing the use of fossil fuels at the Earth’s expense.


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