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Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Posted February 14, 2010

Published in Lifestyle

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What Our Positions On Global Warming Tell Us About Ourselves

Read More: bias, conflict, facts, global warming, safety, security, truth, weather

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There has been a lot of hoop and holler about the extreme winter weather much of the country has been experiencing lately, particularly in regard to what it has to say about global warming.

Those who believe global warming is a reality that we need to deal with point to the snowstorms as an indicator that we've got a serious problem on our hands.

Those who believe global warming is a hoax designed to generate legislation that will interfere with industry and commerce or to generate funding so that researchers can keep their jobs point to the snowstorms as proof that the purported science behind global warming is a lie.

There is a lot of information and misinformation on the Internet which people are using selectively to back up their position and refute the claims of the other side. This certainly isn't helpful.

Bottom line: If global warming (or global climate change which is a less confusing label for some) is real, our world and the people on it will suffer severely in years to come.

I would think this possibility should matter to those who oppose the premise of global warming and that they would want to be very sure that they are right before crucifying Al Gore and others who think global warming is a very harsh reality let alone an  inconvenient truth.

But I don't hear that from the opposing side. I don't hear them saying let's find out for sure if there is an indisputably real threat here. They don't seem to have any interest in clarifying the issue.

This is illogical There is enough theory being put forth to allow one to consider the possibility that there could be some truth to global warming. And if it is true, it behooves any sane person to get on the bandwagon and find ways for us to stop its progression.

This speaks to an issue I've brought up before: People oftentimes take extreme, inflexible positions that are not in their best interests because of strong emotional biases they have that clouds their judgment.

We vote for the same people who have failed us in the past. We listen to the same people who have lied and misled us in the past. We are somehow so afraid of changing our mind, to the point of being willing to back the wrong horse even if it means we're going to lose the race.

In regard to global warming, it would be wise for all of us to get on the same page simply in terms of wanting to know if there's a real problem here so we can address it before it's too late.

In regard to other issues, it behooves us to keep an open mind, to not discard something because it goes against the way we think things ought to be. We can't be afraid to look at both sides. We can't be afraid to think for ourselves. We can't be afraid to leave the pack if the pack is heading over a cliff.

It's a bad idea to stay in abusive relationships. We need to know when to get out for our own safety, for our own good. The same is true of any conflicted relationship, situation, or issue we are confronted with: we need to look at both sides of the conflict closely, not be influenced by our personal biases or the convincing rhetoric of others, and make a decision that is based on facts, truth, and logic, so that we don't sabotage ourselves and deprive ourselves of the happiness and security we deserve.


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Excellent points, Dr. Jacobson. As one who has studied the science for over 20 years, there is no doubt in my mind that mankind's emissions are warming the planet. How much warming they have caused, since the dawn of the industrial revolution is somewhat up for debate, because certain emissions are masking a good bit of the warming that otherwise would have been measured. NASA and other organizations are now trying to quantify those variables. However, I think they already have a pretty good handle on the magnitude of the problem. In the meantime, there is a mountain of evidence that the planet is in a period of rapid warming. The possible reasons have boiled down to mainly one thing. Our emissions of greenhouse gases. I wish people would, as you suggest, study the issue in detail, before they spout off bogus ideas they've picked up from the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Levin, Savage, Inhofe, and the other intransigent deniers of AGW.

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