So often the subject of climate change is politicized and scientists are treated as if they have some kind of hidden agenda. The gringa assures the dear reader that most scientists are scientists because they love science. At their very core they are dreamers and artists who move through the world of science with an idealism that their knowledge can help make the world a better place.
So, rather than delve into criticizing these folks as being part of some sinister conspiracy to take over the world, think about how they feel about what they know and how everyone else is reacting to their publication of their work. It may very well change how you feel about the subject. Perhaps it may even light a fire within your own heart to do your best to be a part of changing the world for the better.
A website, www.isthishowyoufeel.com, has documented dozens of letters from scientists who study climate change. These letters are responses to Author Joe Duggan who put this simple question to scientists: “How do you feel about climate change?” The gringa was extremely interested, to say the least.
I have only touched on highlights of their responses. To read the handwritten letters in their entirety (except for one that was typewritten), you will have to visit the website or, if you’re lucky, the most recent location where the letters are exhibited. You can also find that information on the website.
Professor Emeritus Neville Nicholls, School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, Monash University, Australia is:
- Confident we will adapt, reduce emissions and slow global warming
Dr. Anna Harper, Research Fellow, University of Exeter is:
- Powerless about the power of those who are resisting action
- Discouraged that the public is not understanding that we cannot wait to act
- Frustrated that others cannot be convinced that we are being irresponsible
- Optimistic for the opportunity to redefine how humans live
- Hopeful in man’s creative and innovative talents
Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, Head of Earth System Analysis, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research is:
- Frustrated to be in a nightmare where no one realizes the threat is real
Dr. Jessica Carilli, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts, Boston is:
- Depressed at how humans have destroyed natural habitats and how so many don’t care
- Overwhelmed of the problem’s magnitude
- Hopeful in politicians and grassroots movements that want to bring about change
- Unwilling to give up
- Amazed at human ingenuity to create solutions
Dr. Carlo Buontempo, European Climate Service Team Leader, Met Office Hadley Centre is:
- Tired, especially of debating the subject
- Outraged at the human species lack of response
- Optimistic in collective knowledge
Agus Santoso, Senior Research Associate, University of New South Wales is:
- Overwhelmed by the debate
- Intrigued by the science
- Tiresome of the political motivations behind debate of the subject
Professor Donald J. Wuebbles, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois is:
- Concerned about the legacy we are leaving future generations
- Hope in humanity’s history as problem solvers
Professor Mark Maslin, Professor of Climatology, University College London is:
- Challenged because climate change makes all other global challenges worse
- Optimistic as conditions continue to improve for humanity worldwide
This is just a sampling of a few of the letters that can be read in their entirety on the website www.isthishowyoufeel.com. The gringa loved reading all of these letters. I felt much closer to these elusive creatures that are so often reduced to lumps of data on paper.
Despite their levels of frustration, almost all of them are confident and hopeful. That speaks volumes to the gringa that if these folks are staring the facts and models in the face that predict the extinction of humanity, yet remain hopeful and confident that this problem can be averted, I will sleep well tonight. And, tomorrow, I will reapply myself to being a part of the solution.
How ’bout you, dear reader? How do you feel about all this mess?
Photo credit: www.practicalpedal.com