[Coral-List] ON HUMAN BEHAVIOR RE: Speaking of confusion over global warming

Sarah Frias-Torres sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 10 09:04:24 EDT 2009

Humans choose to believe anything but the truth. We want to believe a magic pill will make us thin, without having to diet and exercise. We want to believe an expensive new car (or clothes, house, etc) will make us look young and beautiful forever, when in fact, nothing that we own will make us better than we already are.
Even when confronted with the truth, we choose to believe otherwise. Those that deny the existence of human -induced global climate change, are in fact well aware of its consequences. Because, opening their minds to the truth means they have to accept the terrifying alternative. 
That in fact, we are responsible for the change at a planetary scale, that we are responsible for the possible collapse of our planet's life support system, and that in order to avoid exiting the Holocene to who knows where, we must make enormous sacrifices and changes, that go well beyond driving an electric car or changing a lightbulb. It is fear who makes a denier. Fear of losing hope, wealth or power (political, social, religious or otherwise).
Climate change is already happening. Humankind is wasting precious time discussing whether it is real or not, without implementing solutions to attenuate and eliminate AGW effects.
To use a visual aid. We just jumped out of an airplane and are in free fall.. We know gravity will bring us down no matter whether we believe in it or not. We know in the short time g forces ensure our center mass collides with Earth's surface, we will be unable to grow wings and fly away like elegant albatross. The question is: Do we open the parachute ? or do we continue in free-fall and become scrambled eggs?
So a note to the deniers you might encounter. Ask them: What are you afraid of? you will be surprised at what their answers are. It is by facing our fears, that we'll be able to move from soliloquies to real action.

Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D.
Marine Conservation Biologist
Ocean Research & Conservation Association
1420 Seaway Drive, 2nd Floor
Fort Pierce, Florida 34949 USA

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