33. Climate Change Denial

One in five Americans now denies that climate change is occurring and that if it is happening that it is not man-made. 97% of climate scientists agree that global climate change is occurring. In 2012, our 45th president Donald Trump posted on Twitter a couple of messages that asserted that climate change was a hoax that China had devised to secure an unfair trade advantage, presumably because the Obama administration was seeking to curb coal consumption in the United States. President Donald Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the Environmental Protection Agency, saying the regulations it has put out under President Obama are “a disgrace.” He has vowed to roll back Obama’s signature effort to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, known as the Clean Power Plan, and to scrap a litany of other “unnecessary” rules, especially those imposed on the oil, gas and coal sectors.

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The man planning how a Trump administration can obliterate Obama’s environmental legacy is Myron Ebell, a Washington fixture who has long been a cheerful warrior against what he sees as an alarmist, an overzealous environmental movement that has used global warming as a pretext for expanding government. He is not a scientist and has been funded by the coal industry. Ebell has argued for opening up more federal lands for logging, oil and gas exploration and coal mining, and for turning over more permitting authority to the states. And he has urged the Senate to vote to reject an international climate accord signed last year in Paris.

Of all the actions that a Trump administration may be able to accomplish it is my belief that rolling back the progress that has been made concerning the control of climate change is most frightening. Those who believe as I do must not stand by idly accepting the inevitable. It is my belief that where ever and when ever it is possible that those who see this issue of prime importance must voice their opinion concerning this matter. It is also my belief that since these individuals are in denial in most cases debating with them on this matter is counter productive for their beliefs are not based on scientific facts. Who are these people who are in denial?

86% of Democrats accept climate change, whereas half of all Republicans are still in denial on the issue. The more religious a person is, the more likely they are to deny climate change. Whereas 80% of atheists accept climate change, only 56% of all very religious Americans agree. Income and educational attainment have no effect whatsoever on whether someone accepts that climate change is occurring or not. People who are skeptical about climate change are likely to be older, male and politically conservative.

Social psychological research has shown that on any number of topics from capital punishment, to gun control, even technical matters such as nanotechnologies people tend to squeeze new evidence through powerful social and cultural filters. Pouring facts into this filter system does not necessarily produce consensus and it can even cause attitudes to be even more polarized. So the answer is not to lay facts in front of the non-believers concerning climate change for the educated and non-educated will come out of the discussion with the same beliefs that they went into the discussion with and most times even stronger beliefs.

Many minds must be preyed open or America will pay an awful price and so will the rest of the world. People do have power and only when enough people voice their opinions will the politicians and power brokers who control policies be turned in a safe long-term direction on this important matter. They must be or America, as well as the rest of the world, in the long run, will pay a terrible price.

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