January 10th, 2019 by Steve Hanley
One of many funniest comedy skits of all time is a recording from 1961 entitled fairly merely “Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years.” A Broadway-style extravaganza, it lampoons a lot of the essential historic occasions main as much as the founding of America, together with one hilarious scene by which the crew of Columbus’ mini-armada posit the concept the world is flat and their chief is about to sail proper over the sting into the abyss. The debate turns right into a music entitled “It’s A Round, Round World,” which you’ll be able to take pleasure in your self within the consolation of your front room because of the magic of the Web and people intelligent individuals at YouTube.
The Flat Earth Cruise
What was comical in 1961 has taken on a particular relevance in 2019, as a gaggle generally known as the Flat Earth Worldwide Convention is planning a world tour aboard a luxurious cruise liner. The cruise will deliver collectively Flat Earth adherents from across the globe — err, disc — to expertise sybaritic luxuries whereas proving as soon as and for all that the Earth is certainly flat.
The most amusing a part of this pleasant daftness is that the ship will navigate to varied ports of name utilizing the 24 international positioning satellites which are parked in geosynchronous orbit excessive above the Earth.
Henk Keijer is a former cruise ship captain who sailed many tens of millions of miles on the world’s oceans throughout his 23 yr profession. “Ships navigate based on the principle that the Earth is round,” he tells The Guardian. “Nautical charts are designed with that in mind: that the Earth is round. The reason why 24 satellites were used is because of the curvature of the Earth. A minimum of three satellites are required to determine a position. But someone located on the other side of the Earth would also like to know their position, so they also require a certain number of satellites. Had the Earth been flat, a total of three satellites would have been enough to provide this information to everyone on Earth. But it is not enough, because the Earth is round.”
Properly, duh. And if anybody wanted extra proof, they might merely take a look at the pictures of Earth taken from area by numerous astronauts in the course of the Apollo program or by the Worldwide Area Station.
And that’s the purpose. The FEIC claims that after “extensive experimentation, analysis, and research,” its adherents got here to consider the Earth shouldn’t be a sphere. As an alternative, they consider the Earth is a big disk, surrounded by “an ice wall barrier” that surrounds Antarctica — an ice wall that’s quickly melting, by the best way.
We right here at CleanTechnica spend daily getting out information from the worlds of transportation, renewable power, and science pertaining to the consequences of worldwide warming. However it might be no simpler than shouting right into a hurricane. In his e-book Blink: The Energy Of Considering With out Considering, Malcolm Gladwell does a superb job of describing the genetic coding that permeates the brains of all people to guard us from threats, each actual and perceived.
In essence, Gladwell’s argument is that if we needed to cease and filter all the knowledge that pours into our brains from our senses day-after-day, we might by no means get something achieved. So our brains have created a system that permits for the immediate characterization of latest knowledge based mostly on prior expertise. Which will free us from sifting cascades of data each second of day-after-day, however it’s also the predicate for perception techniques that find yourself enslaving us with preconceived notions. As Mark Twain as soon as noticed, “What you don’t know won’t hurt near as much as what you do know that t’aint true.”
The psychological processes described by Gladwell type the inspiration of prejudice, which suggests actually “to prejudge.” Prejudging might save us from some issues, however it’s going to additionally guaran-damn-tee — as Al Gore would say — that we people will discover a solution to destroy the Earth that sustains us.
It’s the type of acceptance of half truths and lies just like the destruction of the united statesMaine in Havana, the hysteria over communists in authorities that led to the McCarthy period, the Higher Lifeless Than Purple insanity in the course of the Chilly Conflict, the Gulf of Tonkin decision that led the USA deeper into an unwinnable struggle in Southeast Asia, and the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” lie that led to Dustup In The Desert, Half Deux.
At this time, it’s the kind of nonsense that makes individuals consider all authorities regulation is evil and spending $6 billion on a wall alongside the Mexican border is extra essential than investing in clear know-how. As the favored expression goes, “We are so screwed.”
Psychologists inform us that human beings are vulnerable to one thing referred to as “confirmation bias,” which is a corollary to Gladwell’s work. Iresearchnet describes it this manner: “Affirmation bias refers to processing info by in search of, or deciphering, info that’s according to one’s present beliefs. This biased strategy to choice making is essentially unintentional and sometimes leads to ignoring inconsistent info.
“Present beliefs can embrace one’s expectations in a given state of affairs and predictions a few specific consequence. Individuals are particularly more likely to course of info to help their very own beliefs when the difficulty is very essential or self-relevant.
“Confirmation bias is one example of how humans sometimes process information in an irrational manner. Philosophers note that humans have difficulty processing information in a rational, unbiased manner once they have developed an opinion about the issue. Humans are better able to rationally process information, giving equal weight to multiple viewpoints, if they are emotionally distant from the issue.”
These of us who worth the considering of Dr. James Hansen, Michael Mann, Invoice McKibben, and Mark Z. Jacobson should understand rationality performs no position in any respect within the minds of local weather change deniers. They’re working with the emotional, unconscious elements of their brains, the half solely tangentially related to the cerebral cortex
One might argue that pretend information purveyors like Rush Limbaugh and Fox Information intentionally pitch their content material in an effort to elicit an emotional, non-rational response from listeners and viewers. These of us who advocate based mostly on science want to know that our appeals fall on deaf ears — actually. Our message by no means will get processed within the elements of individuals’s brains the place second- or third-order considering takes place.
It’s typically stated how an argument will get framed is extra essential that what is claimed. Consider the body because the emotional hook and the content material because the attraction to acutely aware thought. Until we develop methods to vary the minds of individuals on the subliminal degree, international warming will quickly overtake the Earth’s capacity to help human life. Local weather deniers might begin to come round when their seashore residence slides into the ocean or they will’t discover sufficient meals or water for themselves or their households, however by then will probably be too late.
Change The Body
I’ve been studying Invoice McKibben’s 2010 e-book Eaarth. It presents an in depth take a look at precisely what disasters are ready simply across the nook as a result of individuals did not act on the recognized menace from burning fossil fuels in time. McKibben is a tireless advocate for the Earth who has been spat on, jailed, and subjected to shut private surveillance for his troubles. He lays out the longer term in no unsure phrases and it’s a darkish and dismal image. The guide is hard sledding for the reader.
It’s the sort of exposition that you realize in your coronary heart is correct however the implications of what he says are so dire they make the reader ponder self-immolation or seppuku simply to lighten the temper. I’ll inform you this. After studying the primary chapter, I had hassle sleeping at night time. It’s comprehensible that some individuals simply don’t need to hear it. In lots of circles, simply the phrases “climate change” make many individuals cringe. They go into shut-down mode, which suggests they don’t hear a factor that’s stated thereafter.
If we’re to have any success with the local weather deniers, we have to cease interesting to their heads and begin interesting to their hearts. How can we do this? By altering from speak of desertification, dying coral reefs, ravenous polar bears, and rising ocean ranges to a dialogue that hits individuals on a extra visceral degree.
Speak About Well being, Not Rising Sea Ranges
Everyone knows that opinions are value exactly what we pay for them. With that caveat, my suggestion is we cease speaking about all of the horrors of a warming planet and focus as an alternative on the well being impacts of burning fossil fuels. Don’t inform individuals about rising international temperatures, inform them about how the pollution that enter the environment when fossil fuels are burned are growing the danger of untimely births, decrease delivery charges, bronchial asthma, and lowered psychological improvement in younger youngsters.
Inform them about particulates, tiny pollution so small they will move immediately into the blood stream within the lungs. Inform them how these particulates can result in cardiovascular, pulmonary, and renal illness. Educate them to the dangers their youngsters face from the crud that will get spewed into the environment when fossil fuels — all fossil fuels — are burned. It’s straightforward to dismiss a couple of ravenous polar bears or ice melting in part of the world few have ever seen. However one of the crucial primary human feelings is a want to guard our youngsters from hurt. In occasions of famine, mother and father will deny themselves meals in an effort to feed their youngsters.
We have to attraction to feelings that override the preformed judgments that local weather deniers have internalized. We will argue till we’re blue within the face and get nowhere with individuals who have made up their minds on local weather change. Inform individuals we’d like a Inexperienced New Deal to not save coral reefs however with a purpose to save their youngsters from hurt.
Teams just like the Flat Earth individuals are all of the proof we’d like that, left to their very own units, individuals will fail to take the steps essential to hold the Earth liveable by people until we modify how we body the problems. If we will attraction to individuals’s feelings, we have now a preventing probability of adjusting how they consider using fossil fuels. As soon as we do this, the methods to sluggish and even halt the causes of local weather change will occur mechanically.
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