I try to learn something every day. I know we all probably learn more than one something every day, it’s just a matter of recognizing it. Evaluating it. Seeing where it fits.
So really, it’s not an effort to learn. It just happens. Unless there is math involved – that takes a real, sweaty, sometimes cuss-y, effort.
The thing I learned yesterday, though, like super pissed me off. And scraped away at my optimism about humanity.
I learned while listening to a Pulitzer-supported journalist that the concept of climate change denial began in the 1980s, when I was little and clueless, and the world was this close to committing to environmental changes to thwart the dangers of the greenhouse effect.
The greenhouse effect. Remember when they called it that?
Long story short, nobody committed to the things that were proposed, in large part because of the perceived impact it would have on society economically. Dollar bills spoke louder than the longevity of mankind, on this planet at least. Of course, that is nothing new.
The worst part, for me, was learning that the fossil fuel industry gave birth to the idea of climate change denial. An environmental conscience, and actions to support that internal ethical pull, would seriously impact the fossil fuel industry’s bottom line.
So they worked with scientists who were still skeptical about climate change data and they commissioned campaigns to plant seeds of doubt across a larger landscape, until over time, it became engrained in the political landscape. So engrained it is part of one party’s playbook. And if you support the party, you can’t sway from it. No matter what the science says. Or what the world is showing us.
Funny thing is, that same fossil fuel industry doesn’t deny climate change any longer. They just lit a match in the 80s, watched it burn, kind of washed their hands and left the rest of us with the polarizing fallout.
It’s just gross. All around. And it explains a lot. It doesn’t explain to me why people deny scientific data, but it does explain to me where our currency lies. And it’s not on longevity or survival or innovation.
It’s on cold, hard, polluted cash.