Today I read a very strange and alarmist news column, advising me that drinking a bottle of wine weekly equated to smoking five cigarettes. The article proceeded to feed me statistics of the chances of developing cancer based on consuming one bottle of wine or 10 units of alcohol on a weekly basis. Further to my annoyance and outrage there was an unjust gender gap, which is seemingly accelerating my chances of developing cancer based on my weekly bottle of wine consumption, all of course “because I’m a woman”. I immediately dub this as “fake news”, sure don’t ‘they’, whoever ‘they’ are, say that a glass of red wine a day is good for you?
It was only 8.30am and with warm, sunny weather forecasted (and since I only had a half day of work ahead of me) I was already planning my afternoon glass of wine. I do not want to hear right now that enjoying alcohol responsibly and in moderation is now not okay!
By 3:30pm I’m through the door, it’s shorts and T-shirt weather now, I pour a modest glass of white and retreat outside to bask in glorious heat. It is March… spring has just begun… It’s 9°C hotter than the average temperature in Ireland…but right now I’m having a lovely time and I’m not thinking about global warming… or at least trying very hard not to.
Alas, the reason for this obscure post is all because I had a little taste of what denial is like. It got me thinking about climate deniers. Do scientific reports on climate change and global warming (as a result of greenhouse gas emissions) simply shock some people into denial? Are some people so comfortable in their lives and resistant to any form of behaviour change that it’s simply easier to deny the reality of climate change? Does climate change statistics read like “fake news” to some audiences?
We need to encourage more conversations about climate change and we need to start talking about it now. It’s really important to know your audience when talking about such serious issues. Every generation will have different experiences about climate change and it’s important to understand and respect that. Climate change has no boundaries. Whilst climate change will affect some more than others based on age demographic or geographical location, it is a global issue and one which will affect every corner of the globe.
If you want to learn more about climate change and the conversations we should be having with younger audiences, check out the new teachers resource on climate change developed by Green-Schools Climate Action.
Additionally if you want a humbling experience, check out this incredible time-lapse video re-creating what some scientists are predicting might happen to our universe in trillions and trillions of years to come.