Just came across this site…
Chris, I was linked to your web page from a fellow Fark.com user in a discussion about Rush Limbaugh and his ongoing smear campaign blaming the Democrats for everything that’s wrong with the world.
I have forwarded this to 3 of my family members who are avid Limbaugh listeners and pretty much parrot off everything he says as truth. I very much appreciate the fact that you left partisan politics and liberal-specific issues out of this presentation and I hope at least some of what you said manages to get through to them on some level. They are all either retired or facing retirement soon, and I want them to be able to continue living well into their old age, but they seem to think all of this, most especially the environmental issues, are just Chicken Little politics and can safely be ignored.
Just a note of encouragement. I’m from a family of Limbaugh listenin’, Riley supportin’ , chemical usin’ farmers so I feel your pain in attempting to communicate with people you may love but couldn’t disagree with more. I’ve given the Crash Course link to the more educated and hope the information reaches them but I’ve found partisan politics is the quickest way to stonewall a discussion.What’s worked so far is picking a single topic and working from there. For instance, I already know my dad’s take on global warming (OMG!) but we can talk about the chapters on banks and the fed. It’s piecemeal I know but you can’t make everyone get the entire picture all at once. Start small, keep plugin’ away.
Hey, do we come from the same family? 😉
Indeed, I pretty much can count on my mom turning off to it, or at least skipping the "Environment" chapter altogether. A lot of the economic stuff falls in line with things they used to say when I was growing up, such as taking the dollar off the gold standard, etc. Oh, and they’ll LOVE the bit about Bill Clinton being indicated as furthering the confusion about how the economic health of the country is calculated and presented
Perhaps by the time she reaches the Environment chapter, the presentation will have built up enough credibility for her to continue on with it anyway. But then again, I’m an idealist at heart. 🙂
As an example, my mom and dad love Alaska, they’ve been to Denali and all sorts of places around there, and so I put on a documentary about Alaskan wildlife and we were enjoying it. A part came on where they talked about threatened species in ANWR and what oil exploration and drilling could do to them, and she got up and said "Okay they just lost me here. This whole thing is a liberal propaganda show. Let’s change the channel, shall we?" Ugh.
I can probably expect a similar reaction from her with this, but who knows…
"As an example, my mom and dad love Alaska, they’ve been to Denali and
all sorts of places around there, and so I put on a documentary about
Alaskan wildlife and we were enjoying it. A part came on where they
talked about threatened species in ANWR and what oil exploration and
drilling could do to them, and she got up and said "Okay they just lost
me here. This whole thing is a liberal propaganda show. Let’s change
the channel, shall we?" Ugh.
As I recall the Crash Course section on environment, it was not very much concerned about threatened species in ANWR. Rather it addressed the fact that we have systematically depleted the richest, most concentrated resources of all kinds. Perhaps if you pointed out that this is the main area of concern you might get a better response from loved ones whom you want to understand the nature of our problems.
I think that I understand exactly where they are coming from. I am old enough to remember the gloom and doom that accompanied the construction of the alaskan pipeline. It was going to absolutely doom the caribou by interrupting their migration routes. In fact, the herd has about quadrupled in size. So it is hard to take the environmental extremists seriously. Similarly, with respect to warming in the arctic, everyone concerned about the issue should take the time to understand why they hold whatever views they hold. In actual fact, it was warmer in the medieval warm period and very cold during the little ice age of the 1700s. We are currently in an interglacial warm period between ice ages. It was warmer in the previous one and CO2 levels reached about the same as at present. The rise of CO2 levels at the start of rapid warming at the end of ice ages trails the warming, so it certainly is not the cause of global warming. There are strong reasons for believing that solar activity is the main driver of warming and that additional CO2 will have little direct warming effect, however, the changing pH of the oceans due to additional CO2 dissolved in the seas may be a huge problem. The bottom line is that if you can’t study the data pertaining to these issues and reach your own conclusions, you are at the mercy of a lot of people who have a stake in lying about them. That is why we old folks feel like changing the channel.