Last night, while working my slightly shady pre-grad school job, I got an interesting question.
“So do you believe in global warming?”
My answer was an unequivocal yes, I didn’t even have to think about it, but the phrasing of the question has driven me batty ever since.
Do you believe in global warming?
As though I might approach it with the same scepticism I reserve for leprechauns and God. As though I have a choice. I don’t want global warming to be true, I don’t know know anyone who does. But the idea that I could look at an overwhelming vista of evidence for a scientific fact and then decide to not believe in it... I don’t understand that kind of wilful stupidity, I really don’t.
Every person who actually studies this phenomenon knows that it is a fact. Saying there is a dissension in the scientific community over global warming is the equivalent of saying there is dissension over evolution. People who do disagree, or ‘beg leave to doubt’ as I overheard recently, are people who have never actually taken the time to study the evidence, or do so without the proper background to have any idea what they’re looking at.
Yes, I believe in global warming. The same way I believe the earth is round and the sun is hot. In the face of truth, my personal beliefs don’t really factor into it so the point is rather moot. My believing in it doesn’t make it true or false. If I woke up tomorrow and decided the moon was made of cheese, I’d be wrong. And even if everyone if the world suddenly thought the same. Well then, we’d all be wrong.
It doesn’t matter if you believe in global warming. The facts exist regardless. Until the scientists who actually know what the fuck they are talking about say otherwise, I'm going to go on believing.