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[For an audio version of this blog story click here.]

As we grow older, we tend to become more comfortable in ourselves and what we’re about.

Living with unsettled and unsettling questions: The "truth" is out there. But where?

There are many issues to which we simply don’t know what the “right” answers are.

Manifested positively, it means we’re less impressionable, less open to malignant manipulation. Negatively, it can lead to pigheadedness, becoming stuck in our ways.

On the latter, one of the most difficult things to admit is that we were wrong. Of course, for many of today’s most contentious issues, we’re still trying to work out what exactly is right, what is the “truth”.

Covid conflicts
For example, back in the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the majority view was that one was not only being reckless but also selfish in not wearing a facemask to help reduce contagion.

Any evidence produced proving the efficacy of such masks for this exact purpose had, at best, many holes in it.

The same just-do-it pressure was at play when the vaccines were introduced. ‘Vaccines have saved lives in the past, the rapidly tested and rolled out covid jabs seem to do likewise, therefore we can safely order everybody to take them.’ That was the mantra, again supported by data that weren’t without blind spots.

Today, such a stance does not stand up to balanced scrutiny. Even the infallible Dr Anthony Fauci has at least hinted that these vaccines are not a silver bullet for all age cohorts. Yet, there are those who still appear unwilling to accept that some of us clearly have robust natural immunity against covid.

Prophets of doom
This has similarities with the narrative around the climate crisis, or climate emergency if you prefer. Many say the science — the science that points to doomsday outcomes, that is — is settled; no aspect of it can be refuted. It’s unquestionable fact. Even implementing radical changes now may not be enough to avoid our extinction or at least close-to-apocalyptic times.

‘Some climate crisis activists are akin to religious fundamentalists. Their belief system is the way, the truth and the life.’

It’s all about what we must do to lessen the impending doom, which seems somewhat oxymoronic.

For the record, one place to start for a less alarmist take on climate change is with Bjorn Lomborg.

Yes, there are those who truly believe we are only decades away from our extinction and the measures we take now are simply delaying the inevitable.

Yet, others in positions of influence and power appear less convinced of this destruction discourse but benefit from keeping it top of mind, promoting a perpetual state of fear.

A positive end
It must be noted, I’m not saying that we should just carry on regardless. And many, particularly in the West, are at least trying to change what we now know have been harmful habits. Opting for cleaner, greener energy, engaging in practices that are more in harmony with the natural habitat, all of these should be pursued. (Heck, if more people lived like me we’d surely see a significant reduction in carbon emissions.)

The point is, by adopting the alarmist, hysterical approach, the chances of doing more harm than good increase. In fact, no real good may be done at all.

Indeed, some climate crisis activists are akin to religious fundamentalists — a tad ironic considering many of them are atheists who despise god-worshippers. Their belief system is the way, the truth and the life. Follow their path and we can have paradise on earth. Those who don’t are wrong and hell bound.

Maybe they’re right. However, in the same way that we can’t say with 100 per cent certainty that there is no god, we can’t know for sure what the planet will look like in the decades and centuries to come. Our changing of something in one area may lead to unexpected happenings in another, for good or for bad.

What can be said with certainty, though, is that our individual existence as we know it will end. We’ll all face our “doom” at some stage.

So we may as well try to be as positive and proactive as possible while we’re still living and breathing. Less of the hysterics, more helpfulness.
Listen to The Corrigan Cast podcast here.

Facebook: Wrong Way Corrigan — The Blog & IQuiz “The Bogotá Pub Quiz”.

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La vida en Colombia desde la perspectiva de un periodista y locutor irlandés, quien ha vivido en el país desde 2011. El blog explora temas sociales y culturales, interacción con los nativos, viajes, actualidades y mucho más. Escucha su podcast acá: https://anchor.fm/brendan-corrigan.

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