by Dan O’Donnell
This past Tuesday, President Obama released a report by the National Climate Assessment, that showed the present state of our climate, stating that the average temperature of the earth has increased by 1.5%. This, the scientific report suggests explains the increase in natural disasters affecting many of us across the earth. In 1992, geologian, Fr. Thomas Berry, C.P. along with scientist, Brian Swimme told of the end of the past 65 million years of life development on earth, the terminal Cenozoic stage and the beginning of the ecozoic or sustainable stage. (The above video tells about Fr. Thomas)
If this is true, and many scientists seem to think it is, what if anything, ca we to do about it. I have this friend who loves to send me articles from sources I think are biased against what I believe and hold dearly. I’ll send him a response either in my own words or in the words of another source that I suppose he finds biased against what he believes and holds dearly. One of the issues we strongly disagree on is the question of global warming. I had what I thought was a brilliant idea, I would invite him to join me in registering for the free online course offered through Coursera, Global Warming, the Science of Climate Change, presented by the University of Chicago and put together by David Archer. Maybe we could both learn something. Of course, he didn’t return my email. When I ran into him at the local coffee house, he never mentioned the email so; I asked if he’d received it. He had, but said he wasn’t interested in climate change.
He wasn’t interested in climate change? He’d been sending me articles and bringing up the issue a number of times in the past year or two. Maybe he just likes to see me wax eloquently or maybe not so eloquently on what I believe is a serious issue facing us today. I think what he meant was he wasn’t interested in getting the facts and especially he wasn’t interested in hearing what those opposing his beliefs had to say.
I suspect this scenario plays itself out many times in the lives of all of us these days. Most of us have strong beliefs about current issues and wish to express them; hence the popularity of blogs. I believe this is good, but I do think it could be a lot more beneficial if we took the time to hear from the other side and to study the issue with people whose reputation would suggest an ability to look at all sides.
We can continue to send articles to each other and carry on one-way conversations that go nowhere but only seem to strain existing relationships. I’m suggesting that there might be a better way, i.e. taking a course from a reputable source on an issue we both are concerned about and seeing if we can learn together.
All that goes to say, If this is an issue you are concerned about, I would like to invite you to join me in taking this course or a course you’ve found online together to see if we can learn rather than continue to disagree, agreeably or not.