Hot Topics – Climate Change – State and County Impacts

“One of the themes I’ve had from the pulpit for some time is that we’ve lost the ability to disagree with civility,” …  “A theme I’ve borrowed from someone else is that ‘Clarity is more important than agreement.’ That means let me understand your thinking, you understand my thinking, and my agenda isn’t to change your mind, and hopefully your agenda is the same. I think if we focus more on that as a society it would benefit us.”
— Benjamin Sendrow 

Adverse climate change can have effects on the State and County.  The post by Kyle Birkemeier on Brown County Matters referencing an article in the IndyStar titled:  ‘Substantial loss of life’: What the climate change report says about Indiana” reinforces the need and opportunity for a better way of discussing the tough topics.  Personal attacks or comments that are taken as personal attacks typically don’t lead to support for any needed solutions.

  • “Its time to rethink our forest management in brown county, we need to petition the state to start taking immediate action, imagine the hit on our county if we have mass die-offs of our forests, as the climate report is predicting. – Kyle B.

A process determines the result and on controversial issues, the process can be very predictable and too often, does not lead to a  constructive way ahead. The following observations incorporate suggestions for improvement in the process:

  1. People can agree on the ideal, e.g., a safe and healthy environment.  An ideal solution is one where everyone gains, or at least, are not any worse off in the long-term.
  2.  People can agree on the facts. If they disagree, they can identify areas of disagreement and then choose to work to identify the root cause of the disagreement.  If the issues is still unresolvable, individuals can respectfully agree to disagree.
  3. Of all the causes of the respective problem, people can find at least one that they can agree that they can support and agree to resolve.
  4. There will most likely always be polarity (oppositive perspectives) on an issue – especially a controversial one where change affects many people.
  5. TRUST.  Motives of those driving any change will most likely always include those representing individual and special interests.  This leads to a “Trust” issue and lack of trust is probably one of the greatest barriers to contributions to a  conflict.
    • Given the scope of the problem/solution to be addressed/implemented, identify the stakeholders, their needs, desired and expected outcomes.
  6. There is a never a perfect solution.  Any alternative will have pros and cons.
  7. Any effects from an agreed solution once implemented, needs to be periodically reviewed. What is working, what is not, what additional action is needed?
  8. Example: Problem Resolution and Decision Making Process


Nov 27, 2018. ‘Substantial loss of life’: What the climate change report says about Indiana “A global warming report released by the Trump administration predicts several severe outcomes for Hoosier health and economy.”

Purdue University –  Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment

  • Hoosiers and other residents across the Midwest can expect increased flooding that will strain infrastructure; warmer, more humid conditions that will increase disease and worsen air quality; and reduced agricultural yields caused by heat, pests and a shifting growing season.
  • Perhaps the most startling revelation from the report: The Midwest region “is projected to experience a substantial, yet avoidable, loss of life” by mid-century.

NASA – Global Climate ChangeScientific consensus: Earth’s climate is warming 

  • Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals1 show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree*: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. 
  • Footnote: *Technically, a “consensus” is a general agreement of opinion, but the scientific method steers us away from this to an objective framework. In science, facts or observations are explained by a hypothesis (a statement of a possible explanation for some natural phenomenon), which can then be tested and retested until it is refuted (or disproved).  ….  As scientists gather more observations, they will build off one explanation and add details to complete the picture. Eventually, a group of hypotheses might be integrated and generalized into a scientific theory, a scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena.

Note:  I would like to see more information regarding the conclusion that warming is “extremely likely”  due to human activities.  What are the assumptions behind the models?  How was the degree of certainty (extremely likely) determined? Wouldn’t you need to know how the “system” was designed to arrive at this conclusion?

Nov 27, 2018. The Hill.  Counter (conservative) perspective regarding government “predictions” on major issues:  Another government report is dead wrong on fragile state of our planet

Nov 28, 2018. The media got it all wrong on the new US climate report.  Bjorn Lomborg is president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center.

  • Yes, we need to speed up the transition from fossil fuels by investing in green R&D. Even so, reporting on climate change needs to be grounded in reality. Exaggeration is understandable but dangerous, because it risks wasting resources on the wrong policy answers, and gives ammunition to those who would ignore this real challenge. 

Nov 8, 2018. Professor Jordan Peterson on climate change and climate policy at the Cambridge Union

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