Facebook and Global Warming

A few years back I posted in Facebook that I would stop posting about politics on my Facebook page. In that time, I think I may have broken my general rule once or twice, but for the most part I have kept to it. The reason I did this was to avoid the arguing that ultimately leads to name calling, foul language, and even major Lashon HaRa. I want to keep away from that for many reasons, not the least of which is that you are in my friends list for a reason. Either we are good friends, or we have known each other from some part of my past, and want to keep in touch at some level. Everyone I have “friended” or from whom I have accepted their “friending” is someone that I like and respect.

In all of my time on Facebook, I have “unfriended” only one person and it did ultimately come from nasty political postings. That is not why I am on Facebook. I am on Facebook for three major reasons. First, I want a place where I can easily update friends and family on the goings on in my life be they good or bad. Second, I want to be able to hear about what is going on in my friends and families lives. Third, I find Facebook a forum that can stimulate me, move me, and yes, entertainment.

As we move into the Presidential election season, there are more and more posts that I wish I did not have to see, and for the most part, I can just ignore them. I have been seeing a few posts from people that are outside of politics that are really bothering me. These are posts skeptical of global warming. I use the term global warming here rather than the more “au currant” term of Climate Change because most skeptics do not deny that there is climate change, they just seem to insist that we are not to blame. A friend told me recently that throughout the history of the world there have been warming periods and cooling periods and now we are in a warming period and eventually we will be back in a cooling period.

My friend is correct to a point. There have been warming and cooling periods in history. The ice ages were the two coldest periods, while today we are in one of warmest periods. Where my friend is wrong, and was is bothering me, is that global warming skeptics refuse to accept that Homo Sapiens, the dominant species on our planet are contributing to the current warming period and unless we make major changes, we will never make it to the next cooling period. The world will likely make it, but we will not be here to see it!

I don’t often say that people are “wrong”.  I often disagree with people and think that I am right and they are wrong, but I rarely will tell that to a person’s face. This is a case where I want to proclaim to all of my skeptic friends, that they are just plain wrong. Global warming is real and 97% of all scientists who have written about it agree. Heck, all the nations of the world agree! The bottom line is, that if we do not make major changes in the way we are living in this world, our children will inherit a much different place than was bequeathed to us.

If you want the evidence for my two truths in the last paragraph, here they are. On May 15, 2013 a paper was published in Environmental Research Letters, Volume 8, Number 2. In this paper the authors analyzed the evolution of scientific consensus on global warming. From about 12,000 papers they found 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. This paper was not taking a stance on its own, they just showed that out of 12,000 published papers, 97.1% of them agreed that we are causing global warming.

As for all the nations of the world agreeing, you can see that from the Climate Accord that was signed in Paris on December 11. I think that this may be the most important headline in the NY Times since its founding.

So why do I bring all of this up? Most of my Facebook friends will agree with everything I have said. Unfortunately, I know that there are some people in my friends list who just won’t face up to reality. I am tired of seeing posts that deny global warming. I know, I can just ignore them too, but for me denying global warming is 100 x worse than being on the other side from me in a political argument. So I have decided to take a big stance here and say that this will now be my litmus test. I cannot keep a relationship on Facebook with people who cannot believe that we are ruining our world despite the massive amounts of evidence that is put in front of them. If you cannot work to help fix this issue, then you have to be part of the problem.

I end with an apology. I am sorry if I offend anyone with what I have written and what I feel I have to do. However, it is time that we all most start to think about our part in safeguarding our planet and ensuring that our children and our children’s children will have a safe place to live. So I end this year with the promise to try to do more in my life and with the hope that everyone else will try to do their part as well.

Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy, and Safe 2016.

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