Daily Archives: November 22, 2016

Asking the Wrong Questions

I rely on critical thinking to understand issues.

Critical thinking takes some effort—not a lot, but some. Unfortunately, it seems like more people reach conclusions based on emotions than data. Now there’s nothing wrong with emotions; they are powerful and probably what makes us human. However, emotions are rarely a useful tool for understanding or solving problems.

Take the issue of global warming. To convince us it’s real, we are exposed to unverifiable claims and sad photos of Arctic animals whose world is melting. Many respond by feeling that global warming is real and humans caused it.

On the other hand, dealing with data takes effort to reach a conclusion. According to ongoing measurements conducted by the US Navy, the sea level near Norfolk, VA has risen 18 inches in the past century. The Navy has added a second level to their piers to deal with projected increases in the sea level. Quantitative data was collected, analyzed, conclusions and recommendations found, and appropriate action taken.

But there’s something missing when compared to the media’s focus on global warming.

[Take a moment to think—what’s missing?]

There’s no focus on whether humans caused it or not. Why?

It doesn’t matter.

Whether or not people are the cause, they can be the solution. People don’t cause hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes. However, when such events occur, humans can clean up, rebuild, and mitigate future occurrences.

Therefore, I suggest we stop arguing about the cause of global warming and focus on correcting it. Fix it first, then we can leisurely assign blame.