The fearists of Climate Change…
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Bryan is an artist, father, husband, and son (not really in that order). He works for the Department of Vetern's Affairs and writes and administers The Fireside Post with his father, Ohg Rea Tone. His writings have not been published, though they have been printed a lot.

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The fearists of Climate Change…


I watched the video that you sent. I am adding it below for those of us who are not you and me.

As I said in a previous post, I respect Al Gore for what he has accomplished, and I encourage everyone to do his or her part to live responsibly. This video points out an interesting element, however, in the message that we receive about Global Warming. Not about the science of the climate change, but about the platform that is being used to spread the word. I am concerned about the use of fear as a motivator.

There are some tried and true scare tactics that have been exploited in delivering the message that we need to change our behaviors. I feel it is necessary to reiterate that I support and encourage changing our behaviors and taking ownership of our part in the problem. But, what is the motivation that we feel to change and what is our responsibility to question the message, or even the messenger?

There is a part in this video where a commentator suggests that the scientists that deny Global Warming are not much different than the people who deny the Holocaust. Seriously? Al Gore states, in all sincerity, that the debate is over. There are powerful scenes where the children in the video display a feeling of immediacy about the problem. There is a sense of panic that is being cultivated here, and I am not impressed. I think that there is no better time than now to change an undesirable lifestyle issue, but I am afraid that I see a pattern in it all that is unsettling.

I talked in another post about the need for a new term – “fearist” – to describe someone who, though not violent, uses fear as a tactic to influence others. I am interested in learning the facts, and I am interested in leveraging our scientific understanding of the problem to change lives and to make the world a better place. But I also feel that it is never acceptable to intimidate people into acting differently. Most scientists agree that we are experiencing a warming, but not all agree that it is our fault, and almost none agree on a timetable for predicting catastrophic events. So, the debate is not over. It is more critical now that we engage in debate than ever before, and I think it is irresponsible to suggest otherwise.

Perhaps it is a crisis. Perhaps change is eminent. What better time,. then, to keep our cool and not get emotional. What better time than a crisis to have leadership that calms our fears, not stirs them up.

Let’s all calm down for a minute and talk about what it is we are going to do, not what will happen when we don’t.


There Are 6 Responses So Far. »

  1. You’ve been hoodwinked by John Stossel and his “report.”

    He has given you a naive, simpleton’s view of the global warming issue. Let me give you just one example: he makes a big deal about CO2 increase happening before temperature increase during ice ages. His implication is clearly that it’s not CO2 that causes temperature increase, it’s the other way around. The *truth* is that both of these are both cause and effect; temperature increase reduces the solubility of CO2 in ocean water, leading to more atmospheric CO2, while CO2 increase traps infrared radiation causing temperature increase. Only simpletons are unable to comprehend this.

    In fact, CO2 increase happening before temperature increase was actually *predicted* by Claude Lorius, Jim Hansen and others 17 years ago, before the data showed it (Lorius et al. 1990, Nature, 347, 139). Remember Jim Hansen? NASA’s chief climate scientist, who has been warning us of the urgency of reducing carbon emissions?

    As for the scientists in Stossel’s propaganda, there are *always* scientists who disagree with any idea. There are scientists who dispute evolution, even those who dispute relativity! The fact that Stossel trots out *four* of them, while the IPCC report is based on the work of *thousands*, ought to tell you something.

    Stossel is either woefully ignorant, or is deliberately deceiving you. Or both.

  2. I hear you saying that we need to change our lifestyles to slow-down Global Warming. I also hear you saying that the debate is upstaging the topic. I hear you saying that wee need cool, reasonable heads in the room to solve the problem – not just to point fingers at each other

  3. tamino,

    Thanks for the caution, but I am not duped by Stossel. I would not even call myself a fan. Stossel is as guilty of waving a torch to get attention as anyone. There is, however, a debate going on, and I will do my best to provide a platform for that debate, even if there is only one person one the arguing side. We can pick apart Stossel’s video, but we can pick apart Al Gore’s, too. That is not what is needed. We need to engage in a debate about what we can do to be more responsible with our resources. Al Gore has done a good job of charging that debate with energy, but there is a time in every debate when more energy can lead to emotional finger wagging that becomes counter-productive.

    I say we avoid that.

  4. We can indeed pick apart Stossel’s video. In fact I’ve done so. You can pick apart Al Gore’s film if you want to, but you’ll be in total disagreement with climate scientists’ review of the film, as well as their .

    If you think there’s really a debate over whether global warming is real, man-made, and dangerous, then you *have* been duped by the likes of Stossel. I don’t mean this as an insult; it’s a fact. If you take the time to learn the details (and not just gloss over the issue), I believe you’ll come to understand this.

    I agree that we need to engage in a debate about what we can do to be more responsible with our resources. Posting Stossel’s video doesn’t contribute to this debate, it derails it.

  5. I wish God had made two Earth. The people who don’t care about environment could enjoy their lives in one Earth. The environmentalists would be living in another Earth. That way, the environmentalists won’t need to try to “fear” those who want to enjoy their lives as much as they could. That way, there won’t be any “fearist”. Happy for everybody.

  6. Stephen – I of the environmentalists as the rational people – the fearists are those who try to scare people away from the truth with irrational arguments like destroying the economy.

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