Vijay Jayaraj: Facts, Feelings, and Fearmongering When Considering the Issue of Climate Change

“Facts don’t care for your feelings.” Ben Shapiro’s frequent use of it in debates has made this statement popular.

Facts, as commonly understood, are objectively true, and indicators of the reality around us. They are solid and unassailable. Feelings are subjective and constantly subject to change. This is important, regardless of what one thinks of Shapiro’s politics.

President Obama said much the same in his 2018 Mandela lecture. He stressed the need to make key decisions based on facts. “You have to believe in facts,” said Obama. “Without facts there is no basis for cooperation. … If I say this is a podium and you say this is an elephant, it is going to be hard for us to cooperate.”

Of course, no one is saying we should completely disregard feelings. The point is simply that it’s a mistake to let feelings, which may or may not correspond to reality, play the decisive role in public policy debates.

Sadly, too many political leaders today are concerned more about feelings than facts. It is not unusual to see facts sacrificed at the altar of feelings and emotion. Such an attitude encourages people to live in a bubble that leaves them unprepared and dumbfounded when facts challenge their imaginary worlds.

All of this is particularly relevant in the climate change debate. Increasingly, climate science has become a victim of empathy-based doomsday propaganda. Our world has been inundated with climate doomsday theories that are detached from real world facts.

Ironically, President Obama contributed to that tendency in that very lecture, despite his emphasizing the importance of facts. In addressing the issue of climate change, he remarked that there are facts which comprehensively prove climate change to be real.

Well, to be sure, climate change is real in the sense that the climate is always changing. But what has become increasingly unclear in the debate is how much the magnitude of change in our climate has been exaggerated and how much scientific facts have given way to feelings as advocates appeal to people’s empathy rather than feeding their intellect by presenting real-world climate facts.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Vijay Jayaraj