Sorry: Political Rant
Well, okay, not exactly political, although I'm sure anyone who reads this that doesn't agree will probably be upset by the following post, but...
So there was a recent bit of a political snafu at my job. I work for an environmental regulatory agency, and one of the managers made a climate change denying comment. His comment was made in a somewhat public forum, and of course it leaked out eventually, so that then the comment (and the comments to the comments) disseminated throughout the interwebs (lot of reports online from various news sources). That's to be expected -- you make a comment, it's gonna get out. That's the way a connected world works, and if you don't want to see your comments get out, don't make them online.
Of course, once I read the articles covering the comments, I then was irresistibly drawn to the comments sections, and that was where I got angry. See, normally I try to avoid comment sections. There are no good comments on the internet, just people yelling at each other about whatever stupid things they can think of. Political topics are worse because people seem to love to get vitriolic over politics (as with religion).
Thankfully I wasn't drawn into the screaming fest of the various comments -- it wouldn't have done any good. I do think climate change is happening (just don't call it global warming, since that term over-simplifies a complex environmental issue where various parts of the world will experience colder temperatures even though the globe, as a whole, is experiencing consistently warmer temperatures), but I don't talk about it normally because I just don't understand why everyone is fighting over it.
See, this isn't like arguing over movies, or taxes, or religion -- ff one side of this debate is wrong, the consequences are beyond catastrophic. We'll end up with a hellish wasteland of a planet (think Venus, if you want a good example of where we're eventually headed). But, even if you don't think the Earth will ever become Venus, do you really want to breathe all the pollution we're spitting out? All the toxins we produce as a society are proven to be bad (there are reasons we have things like ozone awareness days where they recommend driving less, filling your car in the evening, and other such tips -- reducing your impact a little makes the air easier to breathe). If we regulate the air quality to reduce the effects of climate change, it also just makes the air easier to breathe. How is this a bad thing?
I also don't understand why people have such a hard time accepting the science behind the topic (but then, people still claim evolution isn't a thing and that the Earth is only 6000 years old, and dear lords people, how the hell can you still believe that?!). I'm not a scientist, so when scientists show me their compiled reports which (last I saw) agree 99% of the time on the topic of climate change and its eventual effects on the world, I tend to believe them. We pay actors to act, we pay lawyer to law, and we pay scientists to science -- it's what they do, and that's the service they provide. And where there's such consensus on the topic, shouldn't we accept it and move on?
I mean, I get it -- people don't like to think we're destroying the world. Or maybe it's the thought that some supreme being would stop us from killing ourselves in a global apocalypse. Whatever the reason for deciding "climate change is bunk and we an just go on living like we always have," spoiler alert: they're wrong. Something's gonna give, and if we don't start trying to change our behaviors (for our own health if not the planet's as well), this world isn't going to be habitable soon enough.