Why Don’t We Use What We Know?
Have you ever marveled at the intelligence of a one-year old child? If so, you know that in their short lives they have learned a huge amount. Their ability to speak may be limited to single syllables, but they have mastered the ability to get their needs met: vocalizing repetitively “Ma,” and “Da,” and hand signaling: “Milk” and “More.”
In addition, they recognize the adults who know what they are talking about and who have their best interests at heart. As great explorers, they quickly learn to believe the one who tells them “hot, hot” as they reach for the stovetop or to open their hands before slamming a drawer or to walk backwards down the stairs while holding on to the railing instead of launching themselves wildly out into space. In short, they are discovering what it takes to survive in their world.
The question is: Are the rest of us?
Who are the people we trust?
The scientists who have been trying to protect us have an impressive record. A few familiar examples of their discoveries include: Penicillin, Electricity, Blood Circulation, Pasteurization, Anesthesia, Vaccines to prevent Polio, Smallpox, etc. They have acquired the knowledge and done the research that deserve our respect. They use the scientific method, and their discoveries are validated by peer review. In short, we ignore their findings at our peril and that of our children.
But even if we choose not to believe experts, it is incomprehensible not to believe the evidence we see and feel before us. We see that spring comes earlier to our own backyards; planting seasons are shifting. We feel the temperature rising. We see disasters from fires to hurricanes to rising seas and melting glaciers occurring and having consequences, while air pollution, be it from auto or industrial emissions or our personal habits, add to the effects of smoke from those fires by making breathing more difficult for all of us, especially our children.
Regarding climate change, what do we know?
|1.||“Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.”|
|Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change|
|2.||“The evidence for rapid climate change is compelling:|
|Global temperature rise|
|Shrinking ice sheets|
|Decreased snow cover|
|Sea level rise|
The question is: Are we the adults our children and grandchildren can trust?
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