Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted". She wasn't always so confident about speaking out, and she later admitted, "The ability to think for myself did not develop until I was well on in life". Likewise, we shouldn't be afraid to stand out. We shouldn't act like sheep following what everyone else does and says without being able to justify ourselves.
I don't believe that humans are causing global warming. I do however believe that we need to return to a more natural way of living, reduce pollution, and have more respect for the earth and other life on earth. I also believe that we should return to living in communities where people help each other out and protect our vulnerable members of society.
What I am seeing now is people panicking and using 'war talk' which, I believe, alienates large groups of our population. The relatively unconscious man (and woman) is driven by his natural impulses because imprisoned in his familiar world, he clings to the commonplace, the obvious, the probable, the collectively valid, using for his motto: 'Thinking is difficult. Therefore, let the herd pronounce judgment.' When a subject is complex the relatively unconscious man will be glad when it is expressed in words he understands because he will have disposed of an intellectual difficulty and can pretend to understand and act in a way that benefits mankind.
The late professor Irving Janis analysed what happens when people get caught up in what he termed 'groupthink', a pattern of collective psychological behaviour with three distinctive features, that we can characterise as rules (taken from Global warming: A case study in groupthink by Christopher Booker).
- A group of people come to share a particular view or belief without a proper appraisal of the evidence.
- This leads them to insist that their belief is shared by a 'consensus' of all right-minded opinion.
- Because their belief is ultimately only subjective, resting on shaky foundations, they then defend it only by displaying an irrational, dismissive hostility towards anyone daring to question it.
Be consciously aware of what is happening and don't be afraid to ask questions. Don't just dismiss someone else's opinion just because it differs from yours. Ask yourself, "Can I learn anything here?"
“The human race is challenged more than ever before to demonstrate our mastery, not over nature but of ourselves.” Rachel Carson.