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.