An appeal against deliberate ignorance

It is not necessary to counter Michael Ivey’s Nov. 14 letter, “Global Warming is a False Belief,” with the data and credible evidence and general scientific consensus that human activity does impact our atmosphere that is accumulating more heat (the energy that powers weather). Rather, I wish to call attention to the fallacy of denial that many persons commit when facing a problem.

This certainly serves a few purposes. Among them it removes any sense of responsibility for correcting the problem or repairing any damage it has caused. However, problems cannot be denied out of existence. They must be acknowledged and confronted to be solved, and inevitably the solution involves changing the procedures that brought the undesired results.

The first engines to deliver us into the modern industrial society we presently enjoy were powered by open flame. This pretty much remains the case, even though our grasp of nature, materials, mechanics and our ability to work with them has grown sufficiently to evolve technology. It is unreasonable to expect that we can derive all of the energy we have used for the past couple of centuries by burning fuels, without there being an effect upon the air into which all the exhaust has gone.

Now that we are becoming wise to this we must either alter our behavior responsibly, or continue recklessly. Changing requires courage, which is lacking in those who would prefer to do nothing rather than alter their habits for the greater good. We have become very comfortable with the ability to summon light, heat or cold with the flick of a switch, but this comes at a cost that many choose not to consider. Therefore, there is a lot of waste, and a general failure to exploit the myriad of energy sources available that do not require fire.

We have the opportunity to choose how we shall impact the future world. Either we live mindfully of the ineluctable relationship between our activity and our environment, or we play dumb and refuse to believe what is evident, or we be devils and say, “The damage is done. Let’s just keep doing it.”

— Tom Cook
Asheville

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One thought on “An appeal against deliberate ignorance

  1. Thad

    Michael Ivey’s letter was a response to Charles Wright’s previous letter in which Wright states that Superstorm (or Hurricane) Sandy was caused by climate change. And Ivey was absolutely correct in criticizing Wright for saying that, since it is not a true statement.

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