Thursday, April 11, 2013

Facing Into the Sun

This morning's exercise in photography - trying to capture the beauty of a world encased in ice - provided a philosophical lesson as well as an artistic one:  sometimes the only way to see the real truth of a situation is to look directly into the light.

Looking directly at the light can be painful.  In fact, it can be blinding. Done correctly, though, it can show us exactly what's going on.

Looking away from the light can be misleading, making us miss the reality of a situation.  The above two photos were taken less than a minute apart, simply by changing the direction that I was aiming the camera.  The first picture shows the reality of the ice coating everything.  The second photo looks basically normal - you have to look hard to see any evidence that anything is different from a regular spring day.

Moving from ice storms to a broader view of life, this metaphor works well for a "controversial" issue facing our society today:  climate change.  Truly, there is no scientific controversy concerning this issue.  The scientific community is shining the light of their research and knowledge, showing us the reality of climate change.  However, too many people are turning away from the information the scientists are providing because it hurts - and, truthfully, it's pretty scary too.

Looking away from the sun this morning, I could hardly tell this wasn't a perfect spring morning but, looking towards the light of the day, I could see that there was a hard layer that was affecting everything.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has been addressing the issue of climate change for some time.  Here is an article they shared on Facebook this morning, giving a specific example of how the truth about climate change is being hidden for political reasons:  What South Carolinians Deserve to Know About Climate Change.

The National Center for Science Education is another group that has picked up the job of getting scientific information about climate change into the public arena.  They, too, had a good article that they shared this morning addressing the issue of climate change, A Denver TV His Own Words.  This article was actually originally posted by The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media.

There are many other groups and individuals trying to share scientific facts, as well as the predictions based upon those facts and upon the best scientific knowledge we currently have about how our Earth's atmosphere works. 

There are also those groups and individuals who are afraid they will lose a great deal of economic and political power if climate change is acknowledged and if, as a country, we start to work to keep the worst of those scientific predictions from occurring.  Because these latter folks currently DO have a great deal of economic and political power - and money - their views are getting much more attention than they should.

Too many people are looking away from the light of knowledge, into the "pretty picture" that distorts the reality of the situation.

On this issue, as on so many other issues, be very careful where you get your "knowledge".  All information is not created equal.  Even if it hurts and is frightening, we all need to look at the world through the best light we have available to us, instead of turning our backs to the truth.


Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Sounds like you had a good morning to think and reflect.

troutbirder said...

Do you suppose the fossil fuel oligarchy has anything to do with the blindness of much of the public?

Gaia Gardener: said...

Troutbirder, I suspect it may, indeed, have something to do with that blindness.

Jason said...

I'm always glad to see people speaking up on this. Not sure what it will take to really wake people up.

Janet QueenofSeaford said...

Great post Cynthia. I have enjoyed reading through your past posts. I saw a Meadowlark on the electric line along the roadside this afternoon....jealous that you had such a great picture of one!
I found your information on the coyotes interesting...even the scat. Our neighbors think we are 'odd' for checking out scat to see what animals are frequenting our area.
Love your Mason bee house, and thanks for the picture of the bee, not always sure of what some bees look like.
If you haven't read the book by Amy Stewart 'The Earth Moved' you ought to. Great information about earthworms and research on worms. I won it with a worm bin last year. Great read.

Maryah said...

What a beautiful metaphor and important message. No wonder you raised such an articulate son!

Gaia Gardener: said...

Thank you, Maryah! I think he's pretty awesome myself!