Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Scaring off the audience

Global warming is an issue we need to be addressing, not arguing about. With so much scientific evidence proving the case you would think it would be easy to convince everyone. But, its not. There are a lot of reasons why this is so, but one of them has to be the fact that the public is being scared away. There are people actively working to scare the public with dooms day scenarios and by advocating drastic measures.

Here is a basic fact, we change the environment just by being here. We are not going away, to the chagrin of many, so we have to find a way to deal with the changes we cause.

This is unacceptable to some. They think the unblemished world of pre-humans is somehow superior to anything we have today. Any changes made by man on the world are inferior to anything that existed naturally. These people propose steps that are very unacceptable to most of the public. When someone says utility bills for the household need to increase until electricity becomes so expensive people quit using it, that is viewed as being extremist by most of the public and it will be rejected. The damage is done by associating global warming with extremist demands.

When the government steps in and tries to mandate 'green' measures the idea will almost always fail. The government seldom, if ever, achieve the desired goal. Almost always, the result is the exact opposite of what was desired. In the U.S. efforts to promote 'green' industries has been disastrous and has resulted in the subsidized companies going broke and laying off thousands of workers. In Spain, economists found that government efforts to create 'green' jobs cost over $750,000 per job. Many countries are quietly abandoning their 'green' measures. I wonder how long it will be before Germany decided nuclear power plants aren't such a bad thing, after all (ironically, the greenest of all power sources). Green measures have increased the cost of energy, which hits the poor and middle-class especially hard.

Again, there are those that think that is a wonderful thing. Make gasoline so expensive that everyone quits driving, right? But, what effect will that have on people's lives? If gas goes up, then all transportation costs go up, as well. Food prices go up. Costs for finished goods go up. This hits people right in the wallet. So, they cut back on their purchases, which means someone loses their job because there is no longer a demand for their services. More people laid off means a further reduction in demand, and more layoffs. This will cause a downward spiral ending in a recession.

Now, the average person really doesn't want their cost of living to go up and they certainly don't want to see a recession. So, when someone says we should be trying to do this because it would reduce the amount of greenhouse gases, well, the average person doesn't find it amusing. They will view the person advocating these ideas to be kooks (and, the should), but they will also view all of climate science to be the same.

When they reject the extremists they will also reject the science.

And, that is a big part of our problem today. We have to convince the public that global warming is real. We also have to convince them that we are not trying to take their rights away from them. We need to work together to find a solution to the problem, not be making enemies of each other.

The extremism, on both sides, is not helping.

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