Critical thinking post, from my Facebook page before 2014 Midterm Elections…

What can you do TODAY to fight climate change?

Here in the United States, we are having our midterm elections tomorrow. This is important for two reasons, but they may not be the reasons you are thinking about.

First of all, as I think I’ve illustrated fairly well, we voters should NOT for one second be fooled into thinking that our elected officials are going to be capable of making substantial impacts to alleviate global warming or even that they are going to “serve” us, or “protect” us in any way whatsoever. That is just not going to happen, and to believe such campaign promises is just setting yourself up for disappointment. However, voting is very important, if for no other reason than we must elect the LEAST obstructive politicians into positions of power. I say, “least obstructive” because real, actual and massive change will need to come from below (that’s us!). Towards that ultimate goal comes the second important thing about tomorrow’s election.

As readers of this Page will recall, I’ve written several times about the dire need for people of all ages to have good critical and skeptical thinking skills. This goes hand in hand with fighting very hard against our own confirmation biases which unnervingly pop up throughout our daily lives and against which we must combat. In keeping an eye on the ultimate goal, which is to stop burning carbon based fossil fuels for energy, and to bring down global temperatures immediately, we must look to candidates who at the very LEAST will just get out of the way for us to make real change possible, regardless of their or your political affiliation.

Let me give you an example: In my state of Kentucky, we have to choose between re-electing Mitch McConnell to the US Senate, where he has served for 30 years. He is also the Senate Minority Leader and a Republican. He is running against Alison Grimes who is a Democrat, and has been Kentucky’s Secretary of State since 2012. Now, Kentucky is a coal state. No one in their right mind who is running for office would even whisper that coal is bad for the environment and must be phased out. Having said that, and this is where the really, really difficult confirmation bias question comes into play: who would be the least obstructive Senator? For me, in Kentucky, it’s easy. McConnell is heavily propped up by oil and gas and he’d mow over the family dog to get at the last nugget of coal, so for me, the choice is easy. Just as well because the mere sight of him makes me sick. Having said that, if McConnell was in ANY way less obstructive than Grimes towards the eventual goals stated above, I would have to vote for him, and against my own political party and general good taste (just kidding on the last part).

So, for today, if you are in the US and have an election tomorrow, look at your candidates with a critical and unbiased eye, never looking away from the goal of fighting the fossil fuel industry, ushering in renewables and cleaning up the wasteland that we’ve created. And when you come to your very important, and sometimes unpleasant decision, post it on your Facebook page, Instagram account, whatever, and explain why, if you feel you should and especially if it runs counter to what people expect of you. If you would like, write it below on this post for others to see what you’ve done, and why.

That will make THEM think, too! And as America’s very own, Charlie Sheen, would say, that’s “winning, duh!”