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Posts Tagged → emotion

Climate change claims can’t ever be wrong

If you haven’t done so already, pay attention to global warming/ climate change claims.

Whenever the weather is hot, or cold, or windy, or in a lull, the vacuous claims are bandied about that these occurrences are evidence of “climate change” or “global warming.”

We’ve had an unusually cold winter. Why, it reminds me of the ones I used to know in my childhood. Do you, too, recall the deep snows on roads and huge piles of plowed snow in parking lots of the 1970s?

That snow was considered normal back then. Then we had twenty years of warm winters. Now we’ve had two years of cold winters. It’s certainly not global warming! Why, could it not simply be the natural variation of a complex, large weather system in a complex planet?

No matter what, people claiming that current weather is evidence of some bigger trend cannot ever be wrong. No matter what the weather is, they ascribe it to their favorite sky-is-falling environmental crisis du jour. It is a pretty ingenious way to argue, you have to admit: They just cannot ever be wrong. No matter what the evidence is – black or white, Saturday or Wednesday, Mars or Venus, cold, hot, very cold, very hot, lukewarm, tepid, accurate or inaccurate – or when it occurs, it all proves the same thing to promoters of human-caused climate change.

And the fact is that there are real environmental quality issues that need to be addressed and resolved. One that is near to my heart is the high grading of private forests, where the best commercial trees are removed and the junk trees are left behind. This creates huge swathes of forest with little habitat value for animals, and little present or future commercial value for landowners and the surrounding society that needs their forest products.

How sad that high grading forests is accomplished with such simple emotional appeals: “Why Mabel, we will just take the big trees, and leave the little ones for later. There’ll be lots of green left in your woods,” goes the high-grader’s sales pitch.

Because western clearcutting was so damaging to western ecosystems, clearcutting got a bad name back east. Back here most of our private forests are at a point where it’s either clearcutting most of our private woods, or allowing forest fire to shape them. Most of our private forests need to be re-set to zero. That will provide maximum diversity and the broadest habitat and commercial values.

But like claims of global climate change, clearcutting is another false boogey man whose opponents are driven by emotions, and not science. And the real damage is allowed to go on under the false guise of “protecting” the forests.

Choosing Love

Modern life is full of oddities, like having a heavy, meaningful discussion about family relationships with a friend, by text, by cell phone. Yesteryear, such communications were reserved for campfires, dim corners of bars, hunting camp late at night, and other out-of-the-way places and moments in life. They happened once a year, maybe. Now, technology creates a sense of anonymity and immediacy, some might say carelessness, that elicits the deepest emotions in the plainest, least number of characters allowed in a text box.

It got me thinking about how it is possible to find love in unconventional places and in unexpected people. Convention says that humans are supposed to expect, and receive, love from their birth families. Love is where you find and make it, of course.

My friend’s brother recently wrote an email to his entire family, asking them to leave him alone, telling them that staying in touch with them caused him more pain than pleasure. Because their parents enjoyed one of those brutal years-long divorces, everyone was scarred from a young age. This 30-ish year-old man has decided to shake off the past and embrace his future with his wife, child, and in-laws.

Naturally, many of his family members are hurt by his emails. A melee of emails ensued, back and forth between this young man and his family members. What impressed me is how matter of factly and clearly he explained his feelings. Of course, most of the family members made it all about them, how hurt they felt, what about their kids (his nieces and nephews), etc. In all of the emails shared with me, I saw not a glimmer of empathy among his family. And they are all decent people.

Off in a distant, far-flung corner of the Mid-West, a young man is starting over emotionally. Finding the love he feels he never received from his birth family now with his wife and child, he has curled up to heal, like a wounded animal or warrior, sleeping off a ferocious fight. If his birth family members love him, they will let him sleep.

Hollywood makes movies about super heroes with super powers, the ability to bend steel, or read minds. Fantasy, yes, and foolish. Because, what strength it takes to merely survive day to day for so many, to get past old hurts, to put one foot in front of the other, to get up and go to work, to smile when crying would feel better, to hold someone when being vulnerable is a risk. These are super-human traits. Surviving is fantastic, and laudable.

You are in good company, Sam. So many of your fellow Americans want to start over, and you found the strength to do it. America is going through a tough time, bringing lots of emotions to the surface in all communities. I salute you and wish you success. And you have my pledge to watch over your little brother. He is a good man, and I care about him.

Politicizing A Tragedy

Wasn’t it just a few months ago that people said we aren’t supposed to politically exploit tragedies? Wasn’t Mitt Romney excoriated by his political opponents for asking basic policy questions about the declaration of war and murderous assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya? So why now should these same exact people and politicians be trusted to lead us down the right path on the discussion about what happened at Sandy Hook?

Emotion is the wrong approach to policy solutions. But feelings and emotions have always been at the heart of liberalism, not rational thought or careful reason.

My heart aches for the Sandy Hook victims and their families, and as a parent of small children, I will never forget this event.