I’m generally not an activist or anything, and I usually avoid discussing politics and such with anyone but my wife, so I don’t know why this occurred to me this morning as I walked to work at 0630. But it did and I liked it, so… Here it is.
In pondering how so many people are in denial about global warming and climate change, I conjured up this analogy:
Imagine that Global Warming/Climate Change is a cancer diagnosis.
You’ve just been told by a large panel of doctors (because you wanted second and third and beyond opinions on such a dire diagnosis) that you do indeed have cancer. Cancer that if untreated, will eventually lead to a long, painful end of life. These doctors who have diagnosed you are among the world’s leading experts. They are specialists and scientists. Medical doctors who have treated cancer before and have lots of rational qualifications to back up their professional opinions in this matter.
But then some other folks come along and tell you that you DO NOT have cancer.
A celebrity TV doctor assures you that you don’t have cancer. He’s never seen your record or performed any diagnostic tests on you, but he’s famous and was nominated for an Emmy once, so he probably knows what he’s talking about. Right?
There are a tight-knit band of politicians who are certain beyond a doubt that you do not have cancer. No, they’re not doctors. Mostly lawyers, millionaire CEOs, folks like that. But that means they’re smart, right? And they’ve been elected to public office, which is a big qualifier on expertise of all kinds. I mean, only the brightest, most honest, most trustworthy folks get to those kinds of authority positions. And they are certain you don’t have cancer. In fact, it’s a major leg of their platform (and their fundraising strategies). They have angry rallies and argue on TV, all pissed off on your behalf, about the ridiculous allegations that you have cancer. The nerve of some people to spread such evil lies about you!
And then there’s the oil industry. Billions and billions of dollars worth of adamant denial that you have cancer. You can’t possibly have cancer! If you did, someone might think that they contributed, so, obviously, it has to be a vicious lie.
In fact, you don’t need LESS fossil fuels, you need MORE fossil fuels!
They are so convinced that you can’t possibly have cancer, they have a special cancer deterrence treatment for you. They want you to take Crude Oil Capsules every day. It’s a new wonder of modern medicine that they (with the help of some of their politician friends) have managed to get pushed through the Food and Drug Administration without all that pesky red tape and safety testing. You can be the first person to try these miracle pills, made with all-natural crude oil, bubbled out of the good ole U.S. of A. itself. Nothing more patriotic than that!
Maybe we can even make you a reality TV star! Make this a big publicity event, follow you around and show how nice these capsules are treating you. You’ll be rich. And healthy! Perfectly healthy!
What a deal! What a life!
Gee, I wish I were falsely accused of having cancer!
… So now you have a choice. Your life is on the line. You may or may not have a deadly disease that will slowly but surely kill you.
Do you: (a) Choose to trust the professionals who have dedicated their lives to studying and understanding the science of this field, 95% or more of whom all agree on the subject; or (b) choose to believe the folks who may be giving you the easier path, the one that doesn’t involve difficult change or bad news, but also do NOT have expertise in this field, but DO have other vested interests (mostly financial) in the outcome.
It’s YOUR life, YOUR future. And the future of YOUR CHILDREN and GRANDCHILDREN.
Who do you believe?
And now that I’ve finished that, a similar argument could probably made for common sense gun control. Substitute “military-grade machine guns specifically designed for killing lots of people” for global warming, “billion-dollar weapons manufacturers and the NRA” in for Big Oil, you can probably keep the exact same batch of politicians where they are… Yeah, it reads about the same.