Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Global Warming, Evolution, and Intellectual Debate
Have you noticed how many items in the stores are now labeled as "Green" or "Environmentally Friendly"? I was looking on the local craigslist yesterday for an easy chair to replace the decrepit one in our living room, and I came across these furniture ads:
"Really cute blue velvet club chair with mustache back and contrast welt. Down seat, very comfortable. Well made and environmentally friendly"
"White, red, sage & butter yellow Floral chair; Reversible seat cushions Made with bioflex hybrid foam for a smaller environmental footprint More Earth-friendly than conventional foams, using more renewable resources "
Wow. So as a conscientious consumer who doesn't want to DESTROY the Earth, I had better make careful choices and only buy those products - everything from laundry detergent to cars to easy chairs - that tell me they are FRIENDLY, and not spend my money on those other MEAN, BAD, UNFRIENDLY products.
It all just seems a bit opportunistic to me - jumping on the bandwagon, to benefit from the fear and hysteria being promoted by politicians and media.
According to TIME Magazine , USA Today, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. John McCain , and of course Sen. Al Gore , there is no scientific debate on the issue of global warming, and everyone with an ounce of sense and credibility agrees that a disaster is imminent unless WE STOP IT! ( by buying earth-friendly products?)
But there is scientific debate on the issue.
Climatologists Reject Media Claims of Global Warming Consensus
31,000 scientists reject 'global warming' agenda
Global Cooling Is Coming!
I'm not a terrible person nor am I a stupid person. I read a lot. I try to listen to both sides of a debate and make informed decisions. I do care about having clean air and clean water, and I teach my children to be good stewards of our resources. But I'm not convinced that human beings are killing the earth. And the lock-step, group-think mentality that surrounds polarizing issues such as this is very troubling to me. I resent being characterized as a terrible, stupid person because I don't necessarily agree with the proclaimed "consensus".
It reminds me of the debate over Darwinian evolution versus Intelligent Design. If you only listened to mainstream media ( admittedly left-leaning) and spokesmen for the "academic community" (unquestionably left-leaning), there IS no debate and critics of Darwinian evolution are quacks, religious fanatics, wierdos, and of marginal intellect. Just read the criticism aimed at the recent movie "Expelled; No Intelligence Allowed". Likewise, in reading some of the comments and remarks aimed toward the critics of Global Warming, I found no lack of vehement name-calling - "Republicans", "Christians", and the worst thing possible, "fat & happy white American males".