GUEST EDITORIAL: “Thoughts on the ‘Good’ Climate Skeptic.” ELIZABETH MCLEAN, February 21, 2010

Written by M. Glantz. Posted in All Fragilecologies

Published on February 21, 2010 with No Comments

I often wonder what percentage of the people foresees events in a short-term scale and how many see it in a long-term scale? I have to admit that as an islander I use to project time on a short-term scale when I was young, but I have evolved to see things differently and I too agree that the trend of human activities are increasing the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

I think that along the lines of the above discussed, lays the question of: ‘what is the personal value at stake?’ and why would we want to risk it? Perhaps we may have little sense of urgency as these changes are gradual and we are ephemeral, or we can be outraged and consider what mess we are generating for future generations. There is a difference in the short-term, and the long-term mentality, those that have a lot to gain today, will not be the ones paying tomorrow. Or will they?

In an earlier blog, you had elaborated on the effects of branding and the importance of the terms we use. For some reason people like to label right and left. Yet these labels can be harmful when trying to diminish the value of a consensus or a very likely and sustained finding.

Eckhart Tolle, who writes on human psychology, describes that people that have a view or an opinion — and they feel strongly about it — it is as if their opinion is tied up to their identity. Because of this, when they are opposed they feel as if their own identity is being threatened and they must defend it at all cost. So instead of having humble opinions to set forth in the middle of the table with a certain regard for possible errors, we have individuals that are too attached to their own opinions.

I believe it is natural for scientists to be skeptics, and to be ‘good’ skeptics… seeking to bring clarity and further lucidity to their hypothesis, confirming their value.

Of the images posted, the graphics of the naysayers definitely creates a polarity with no real chance of coming to a middle ground, while the graphic of the yeasayers looks more neutral and informative, placing knowledge before hand and creating a visual image.

On a different note, let me share with you a different twist on branding. In the Dominican Republic, as I am sure this holds true for other Latin American countries, children —especially girls — grow up with the complex of having ‘bad’ hair. The tight curls that are afro-like are referred to as ‘bad’, while the straight or wavy hair is ‘good’ hair. So a lot of time and effort is put into straightening and taming the ‘bad’ hair. It is only in the recent years that this misconception has been addressed and that afro-like hair is getting a ‘good’ name, becoming even fashionable. Imagine the psychology behind branding.

“Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.”

~ Baha’u’llah

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