Lance Scranton: How is your house?
If you can name it, I’m pretty sure I’ve been called it at one time or another when discussing my views and opinions. I try hard to have reasoned, calm, rational dialogue about things I’m just not convinced about, and there was a time when an astute observer of the world around us kept a skeptical eye on just about everything. I was taught by most of my college professors to think for myself after considering the evidence and that maintaining a flexible intellect would benefit both myself and those with whom I engaged in discussion.
My junior year of college was the same year that the data, statistics and models of global warming were introduced to the world by scientists, who declared that, unless we did something immediately, we were all doomed. Thirty years have passed, I’m much older, experience has taught me much and the planet still seems to be in good shape. I was taught that ice sheets would disappear and the oceans would rise but have you seen the price of real estate by ocean cities? If global warming was a huge concern; people would be flocking to middle America — wouldn’t they?
I’ve been called many things when I debate the science of global warming, which has become climate change during the past few years. It seems that if you offer up an opinion that presupposes skepticism about the settled science of how our planetary weather works, you’re just asking stupid questions. It’s been proven, I’ve been told time and time again, by people who are a whole lot smarter than I am. Again, I know some pretty smart people who have doubled down on some pretty crazy stuff that one reasonably sharp amateur like myself had no trouble figuring out (like why people voted for a businessman instead of a politician for president).
Maybe the fact that all the hysteria that has lead to scuttling power plants and closing coal mines has had almost zero effect on our planet’s weather and temperature would cause a reasonable person to ask a few obvious questions. I think we should be good stewards of the areas in our life that we most specifically can influence. It concerns me when people have so much to say about how I should live and think that their “higher calling” and “responsibility” preclude them from following the advice they are so quick to dole out.
I wish we were as concerned about how much money our government is capable of spending without so much as a worry, while they tell us to use less power, drive smaller vehicles, have fewer children and desire less success because of the cost to our planet. Meanwhile, they continue to jeopardize our children and their future by their irresponsibility dressed up as care and compassion. If they would just get their own house in order first I might start to listen to them without my skepticism meter constantly in the BS zone.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.