A Former Climate Change Skeptic on What Changed His Mind

I was a climate change skeptic about 12 years ago back when I was in the middle of college.

“Aw, fooey,” I’d say to the scientists and significantly more qualified Phd’s exclaiming the dangers. “You guys and your desperate ploys to be relevant and justify those fancy grants.”

But then I realized something, something pretty simple and straightforward. Setting aside all the inner conspiracy theories about manufacturing some “climate change industry” or whatever…didn’t it just make sense that we should just be good stewards of our world anyway?

Who cares if it’s real or not, if the end result is a cleaner planet with more efficient cars and alternative power sources, shouldn’t it be embraced?

You know, all this advancement in technology, improving the infrastructure we already have? All that stuff?

That was when I made the transition from climate change skeptic to a climate change…agnostic I guess you could say. I didn’t care if it existed or not, I just wanted cleaner…everything.

As I matured and started making a life of my own, I started hiking. I started seeing the world. I would make trips up to the Pacific Northwest, the deserts around Tuscon, or the San Bernadino Mountains.

And every time I would come back from these hikes far from the city I lived in, I would always notice the air. I could taste the air.

By getting away from the city I spent the first two decades of life holed up in, I realized there is a tangible benefit to living in areas with cleaner air.

By wanting cleaner air in my own city, my goals aligned with those who were proponents of climate change. They wanted electric vehicles, I wanted electric vehicles. They wanted renewable energy, I wanted renewable energy. And so on. Their efforts to reduce humanity’s footprint on climate change were the same efforts I wanted enacted to clean up my city’s pollution problem.

Win, win.

Since then, I’ve been much more open to their studies and projections. Making the step from “boogeyman conspiracy scientists invented to give themselves relevant careers” to “group of people lobbying to help me achieve a better life in my city” was a pretty big one.

But I attribute it to just getting out of my crappy gross environment, and taking some long snorts of pure cold breeze through the nostrils to show the blessing of clean air. I wanted to bring this clean air home with me.

And I’m sure there are a lot of climate change skeptics out there who live in beautiful areas with pristine crystal clear winds and unobstructed star-filled skies.

Come to my garbage sump of a smoggy city, take a deep wiff, and enjoy the whopping six stars you can see on a good night, and tell me that humanity’s effect on their environment is a drop in the bucket.

~ ColorsByVest on Reddit


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