Reading the latest news about President-elect Trump’s desire to back out of the Paris Climate Agreement is not bolstering my optimism for the future. Sure, I didn’t really expect our new president to take the impending global disaster of climate change seriously, but I was secretly hoping that maybe, just maybe, Donald Trump wasn’t as hardened against reason as everyone seems to think. I hope that is the case. He isn’t sworn in yet, so there is still time to reach him.
I just wanted to take a second to examine exactly why President-elect Trump thinks that climate change is a “hoax.” If you think about it, it’s really the most natural thing in the world. It’s the same reason why Mike Pence thinks that the allowing of same-sex marriage will somehow negatively affect opposite-sex, “normal” marriages. He only allows himself to look at ideas and supposed facts that support what he already believes. We all do this to varying degrees. We see the hits and ignore the misses. This is most likely the default setting for the human mind.
Skepticism and critical thinking are not common skills, but they are absolutely indispensable for high-level governmental leaders to posses. It really doesn’t matter much that Joe Blow down the street who thinks that the earth is 10,000 years old and participates in purity balls with his teenage daughter believes that climate change is a bunch of hooey. But, when the President of the United Fucking States of America won’t listen to an overwhelming scientific consensus about a phenomena that may very well mean game-over for civilization… that’s a problem.
A few days ago I became aware of a new organization: The Party of Reason and Progress (PORP). The Party was founded by secular activist, David G. McAfee, and has as its mission the implementation of “effective and rational policies through educating the general public and supporting reasonable and logical public officials and initiatives.” I just finished reading PORP’s Platform, and am really impressed. This is exactly what the political universe needs right now. There are several doomsday scenarios looming over our collective heads. We don’t have time to be swept up in ideology. We need evidence based facts, and we need leaders who are willing to take action based on those facts for the highest good of all. PORP couldn’t have emerged at a better time.