Climate change debate filtered through ideology but public may see through it…

August 9, 2012

Just read a newspaper column (on the internet of course) that said there is research that indicates the majority of the public actually believes there is  climate change (formerly called “global warming”) but may disagree on the current severity of it, while there is a minority at both extremes, one thinking it is the end and the other that climate change does not exist (or it is just a simple and natural fluctuation of weather patterns).

(I had to re-read the column to figure out whether it was trying to say that most people believe climate change is man-created or augmented, but the implication is that they do and want their leaders to do something about it. Maybe in my haste to post this I did not represent the message of the column quite right, but what I really am trying to say is that it seems most people know something is wrong and that somehow we can and need to do something about it.)

And of course some people aren’t even aware of the problem or perceived problem. These people don’t really count, though.

But a line in the column intrigued me, something about the ongoing debate between the Fox News public and NPR public.

We all know that Fox is slanted toward the right wing who finds it economically and politically convenient to ignore or dispute climate change and we all know that NPR would most likely align itself with progressive thought that would naturally tend toward saving the environment even if it is inconvenient and costs money in the near term. And then there is the fact that NPR is not above pointing fingers of blame at commercial interests, while Fox would naturally tend to resist that.

It is really too bad most of the information disseminated to the general public comes through ideological filters.

What we need is truth, free of the slant of politics and ideology.

On the one hand, we don’t want to go overboard and pass and enforce needless regulations that hamper everyday business and life and on the other hand we don’t want the farm that feeds us (using metaphor here) to blow away in dust bowl fashion because we don’t want to give an inch to those attuned to the environment, who just might be lefties.

I was interested to hear a news report that said something about soft drink makers taking steps to preserve water supplies. Sounds kind of environmental. But if water is the main ingredient for your product, then it makes business sense (not to mention water is a necessary element for life itself).

You know, the public may be on board in this quest to figure out what to do about climate change and business people will be too as if affects their bottom line.

It may be the politicians who are not up to speed.

They are hampered by the fact that they are sometimes afraid to say what they really think or know because they fear alienating groups of potential voters.

It’s too bad that our decision makers go by votes more than evidence.

And it is too bad that some who want to push an ideological or political agenda on both the left and right use this very real problem as a tool to achieve political goals.

P.s.

I am not really up on the science of it all and I understand there have always been cycles of hot and cold and wet and dry weather, but from what I have read so far, most scientists agree that what we are seeing now is indeed a major earth climate change, affected to a large degree by man-produced carbons in the atmosphere. Even some skeptics in the field of science have now accepted that there is a major climate change taking place.

I give you the link to the article I read that prompted this post:

http://www.omaha.com/article/20120808/NEWS/708089922/1694#grace-climate-change-is-here-so-let-s-talk

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