Your Own Voice—Rule #1: Tell YOUR Story

Part of the problem I see with all the posting back and forth on Facebook and other social media is it lacks any context for where the posting party is coming from.  In order to have a rational conversation about anything that you disagree with, I believe you have to be willing to give the back story to WHY you believe what you believe.

Let’s take a controversial topic like say…climate change.  I have been accused of being a ‘climate denier’, because of my skepticism about the science of whether changes in the climate are truly man made phenomena.

Here’s the back story: I was traumatized as a kid about 10 years old by a series of stories I read about a coming ice age.  It was the late 70’s, and pictures of Los Angeles’ smog covered highways paired with photos of mass ice covering portions of the US, with all of the potential suffering and death that could follow, filled my head with visions of impending doom.

Only…it never happened.  So nearly 30 years later, when the narrative shifts from one of global warming, to one of climate change, it’s only natural that my history with the topic would induce some skepticism about the absolute certainty of the science.

Do I think the climate is changing?  Well, logic and the daily weather reports would suggest it is…changing.  But I think the science is far too imprecise to warrant drastic lifestyle changes to developing countries, and would hope science would spend more time offering up cost effective, clean energy alternatives than using scare tactics to make people feel guilty about the energy sources used now.

My personal experience has colored my views on this topic, and often I seek out media sources and scientific data that refute the conclusions drawn by the climate change movement: that humans are really causing damage to the environment because of our use of everything from fossil fuels to cow farts.

Anyone that wants to persuade me that climate change is anything but a naturally occurring phenomena that happens with the earth regardless of what we do to it, will have the burden of explaining why the science now is more convincing than the science back when I had my first run in with the subject-and why the conclusions they are drawing are so drastically different.

I am really excited to hear the stories about how people come to believe what they believe within the political spectrum, because I think understanding back story could lead to more civilized discussions about the things we disagree about.

Plus it’s a lot more interesting than just having someone shove their belief system down your throat and tell you you’re an idiot if you don’t believe what they do.  That tactic already proved to be a losing one in a Presidential election, so hopefully sharing back story will bridge the gap between extreme propaganda pitching and civil discourse about opposing views.

2 Responses to Your Own Voice—Rule #1: Tell YOUR Story

  1. I almost took you seriously and was hoping to find some helpful guidance relating to infertility. Instead I find a post on how you remain a skeptic of science (which was likely the entire reason for your being able to have a child by the way) because you admittedly seek out media sources that refute and reject science, and keep referring to climate change as a “story” and “belief” when the scientific evidence for climate change is irrefutable. If your lack of respect for scientists and fact-based evidence comes from reading “stories” about a coming ice age – and who knows where you read that – then you will never be open to understanding how your actions have very real consequences for humanity’s future. To be sure, your post talks about science (“stories”) from back the 70s but cites no scientific publications.

    I’d urge you to do even the slightest research. There’s been only 7 cycles of glacial advance and retreat in the last 650,000 years. The entire scientific community agrees on climate change. There’s no choosing or not choosing to believe. It’s not religion; it’s fact. And relying on others who agree with you to inform you, or relying on others to convince you is rather foolish. You should make efforts to learn yourself. You have agency for a reason.

    • Hi Andrea. Your article simply proves my point. You make a blanket statement that says “the entire scientific community agrees on climate change”, not realizing how absurd that statement even is. Of course there is climate change. Ever since the earth was created the climate has changed. That makes the assertion of “climate change” easy. And if I can find articles within the scientific community that refute the CONCLUSIONS then obviously the ENTIRE scientific community does not agree.

      As far as where I found the articles–try Newsweek 1975 The Cooling World or 1970 The Coming Ice Age. You didn’t even attempt to learn where I might have gotten the information–just dismissed my opinion, making the ridiculously obvious statement that “climate change is irrefutable”, which is like saying the sun shines. You preach climate change like it’s a religion, and your words are those of a fanatic disciple. That seems foolish.

      The Times article was sitting on my living room take in the 1970s. The Coming Ice Age. Then I heard global warming was the buzz word. Now the ‘facts’ have shifted to climate change, and you cite 7 cycles of glacial advance and retreat in the last 650,000 years. So this has happened before, without the actions of humanity–7 times.

      And as far as science making me a father–yes, science helped. But I still had to be willing to question it–especially when doctors told us to donate or destroy our two poor quality embryos on our last (6th) IVF. They said they weren’t worth keeping. But guess what. We didn’t take their advice, and the perfect fresh embryos that were transferred didn’t take. My formerly poor quality embryo was thawed out 3 months later and is now 14 years old. Science is always refutable. There is always choosing or not choosing to believe. You should make efforts to learn yourself. You have agency for a reason.

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