Thursday, November 29, 2012

Midstream

I read this morning of another former non-believer in global warming (oops, I mean climate change) having a change of heart. In recent months, it's not been uncommon to see some experts and not so experts change their minds. Perhaps the video footage of melting glaciers has something to do with it. Maybe after Hurricane Sandy much of the data merited a review by those most resistant to the idea. Of course, in thousands of years, there has always been a noticeable, if not predictable extreme in weather and climate. That our weather has been a bit "out of sorts" if not downright wacky, there can be no doubt. I expect to see more warming resistors going public in the month to come. That will leave only those who have an interest... a strong interest in disproving what most already know lining up on the opposite team. That got me thinking. How difficult is it for people to change sides when it comes to political arguments? It must take a special kind of courage to admit," I now believe something I previously did not." Diane Ravitch, the education historian comes to mind. She is now the fiercest opponent of standardized testing and the corporate highjacking of public education. But it wasn't always so. Ravitch, for years, took an opposing view. After reading her book The Death and Life of the American Public School, I believe she has made a moral decision. That's always admirable. So I then thought that if ever I'm confronted with a friend that has an abrupt shift in opinion, no matter what the subject, it might be useful to take the time to find out how that works. In short, what goes through the mind prior to making a decision that noteworthy. Will I ever have that experience? Perhaps. One thing I do know is not too much has changed from my political views a few decades ago. People love to say that with increased age it's fairly common to rethink deep beliefs and decide things differently. They like to say that with age comes a more conservative outlook. Depends on how you define conservative I think. There is also something to be said for people who remain unwavering in their views as well.

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