Ignore chatter, learn more

Sep 5, 2020 in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel by Aaron Dunbar

“You’re a dummy!” “drink the kool-aid snowflake” “how about you go into your basement cupcake” “you need to seriously change your name to Aaron Dumbar.”

These are a few of the very mature responses I received when I dared to bring up the subject of climate change on a Republican lawmaker’s Facebook post. I’ve grown pretty used to receiving this kind of abuse from commenters whenever I write into The News and Sentinel about climate issues, and I want to be entirely clear here — none of these insults bother me even a single iota.

What does disturb me, however, is that those most vocal about insulting me appear totally unwilling to listen to the scientific experts on climate. I truly do not care whether anyone pays attention to what I have to say. I’m not an expert on climate change. And I’m not some self-professed “climate guru,” as I’ve been derisively called in the past.

But when I see information directly from NASA (you know, those very intelligent people who put us on the moon?) stating that human-made climate change is real, I can’t even imagine having the audacity to think that I personally know better than the smartest people on our planet.

I get asked a lot of the same questions about climate change over and over, and I generally have or can locate answers to just about all of them. But I’ve learned by now that climate change deniers don’t actually want answers. They want to throw as many gotcha questions as they can at you, then ignore every answer you give them and simply move on to something else.

However, for anyone out there who’s skeptical about climate change but who genuinely wants to learn more, I want to highly recommend looking into a few of the following titles that helped convert me from a climate change denier into a full-fledged environmentalist:

“Merchants of Doubt” (Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway); “The Madhouse Effect” (Michael Mann and Tom Toles); “Losing Earth” (Nathaniel Rich); “The Sixth Extinction” (Elizabeth Kolbert); “The Uninhabitable Earth” (David Wallace-Wells); or basically anything by Bill McKibben, one of the earliest and most prolific authors on climate.

There’s truly no room for genuine climate skepticism when the staggering mountains of evidence are viewed fairly and objectively. Nor can there be any doubt about the need for taking swift and immediate action to preserve our planet.