First, thanks to everyone for the thoughts, prayers, and emails. My Mom is doing better. They found a laundry list of issues, not the least of which was internal bleeding – probably resulting from a fall. They had checked her when she fell, but missed that. Also she had dangerously low Thyroid levels. Also missed. She has been moved from the CCU and is now in a sort of ‘in between’ room. Not ICU, but not just run of the mill room either. Just when she’s out remains to be seen, so I’ll still be scarce. But she has improved. And not just improved compared to being unresponsive and not breathing on Tuesday. Actual improvement. Hopefully surgery is no longer needed and they can help her overcome the various issues through therapy and other treatments. She is probably going to stay in a care facility for a bit, we’ll have to see.
With that said, while I was in the ER and listening to the doctors, I got to thinking, as I am wont to do. It dawned on me that I was more or less at their mercy. I don’t know medicine. I can understand certain things they said – Thyroid, internal bleeding, hemoglobin. But I have no clue how they relate or what to do about it.
It reminded me of the old Far Side cartoon about what a dog hears: We might say ‘Fetch the stick Rover, fetch the stick!” But Rover just hears ‘blah, blah, blah, *Rover*, blah, blah, blah.’ That was me listening to the doctors: Blah, blah, blah, *Internal bleeding*, blah, blah, blah, *Thyroid*, blah, blah, etc.
Well, that’s me with most things science. I’m always fascinated by science. I enjoy science and listening to scientists spin their yarns. I have two sons who are eyeing scientific fields as possible careers. But at best I have an elementary grasp of what they’re saying. And that includes (here it comes) Climate Science. My last post before this hit was about the March for Science and Climate Change.
Now, whenever we get into the Climate Change debate, it never fails that I am assaulted with endless posts about carbon dioxide or emissions or global temperatures. But here’s what I hear: Blah, blah, blah *CO2*, blah, blah, blah, etc. I’d lie if I said it was much more.
Which means I’m in the same spot with Global Warming that I was in the ER with my Mom. I’m at the mercy of the Pros from Dover. The doctors, or in this case the scientists, who are telling me all the technicals.In the ER, at least everyone seemed to be on the same page. If there were debates or discussions, it was happening in conference rooms away from us. Once they came to talk to us, they appeared to be in happy agreement. Or they admitted when they weren’t sure. Not so for Climate Science. It turns out there are scientists who are in disagreement. There are scientists who say this is what is happening, why it happened, and what needs to happen – case closed. And there are those who disagree.
It’s not just wading through the specifics to get to the words and terms I actually understand. For me (and I’ll bet for many people), it’s trying to figure out which scientists to listen to. Why should I listen to these scientists here instead of those scientists over there? That is the million dollar question.
I can’t lean on my experiences, for they don’t seem to matter. A few years back in our neck of the woods, when we were hit with cold snap after deep freeze after years of mild temperatures, I was told it was just weather and doesn’t count. Of course I can’t lean on ‘majority rule’ or ‘the good guys say so and only bad guys disagree.’ That’s stupid for stupid’s sake. The idea that truth is based on majority consensus went out with butter churns, and it’s almost borderline heresy to assume where one stands on the issue of climate change is what defines one’s righteousness and purity of heart. Yet, if you think about it, many are told to accept MMGW not because of the science, but because the majority of scientists who are necessarily the good guys say so. Strange that.
When it comes to some science, I’m not that concerned. Should Pluto be a planet? Shouldn’t Pluto not be a planet (I say yes)? I’m sure there’s a consensus and plenty of evidence, but I’m not going to lose sleep over the debate. But Climate Change? Something that is said to threaten human existence? Something that demands radical change and sacrifice? That turns to governments to step in and seize the initiative? Something that seems to demand a immediate overhaul to our approach and understanding about society and our roles and obligations to the world we live in? Yeah, there are a few more dogs in that fight.
That’s the problem. I’m stuck knowing no more about the science of Climate Change than I do about what to do with hemoglobin levels, or labeling objects as planets or not. So what to do? Who to listen to? That is the question. And one I’d be interested in hearing an answer to.