Note to self

A divided land

Like many Americans, I have not been involved in politics. Just 120 million voters participated in this years presidential election. And they more or less split their votes evenly between 2 candidates from the 2 major parties in the country.

There are at least 100 million eligible voters in the country, who decided not to register or decided not to vote. This is a first divide. You got to wonder, why is it that almost half of the population does not participate on the political process? But that’s a whole different story.

Now we have a president-elect that claims climate change is a hoax and a vice president-elect, who believes in creationism. That again is a fair representation of our country. About 40% of Americans believe that human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals. The same amount of folks believe we were created the way we are.

The same can be said about climate change. Just 33% think that climate scientists understand “very well” whether global climate change is happening. 27% say climate scientists don’t understand this “too well” or don’t understand it at all. We are even split with regard to the news media’s coverage of climate change. About half of the country believes the media do a “good job” covering global climate change, while the other half says they do a “bad job.”

I believe the list goes on.

We are a divided country.

An event like this election is a great opportunity to learn. To educate ourselves, to make informed decisions, to participate (register and vote), to make democracy work.

There have been historic events in our not so distant past as a human society, where we have missed such opportunities – with grave consequences.

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3 thoughts on “A divided land

  1. Well said.
    I do wonder if voting had been compulsory, whether the outcome would have been different.
    As I suscribe to National Geographic online (and their Photo of the Day etc 🙂 ) I have tried to get a a broad sense of climate change through their articles and I find it frustrating that proven scientific evidence on climate change is being so little reported and understood elsewhere in the Media. it seems to be one of those subjects that either you’re interested, or not.

    Do you think there is a gap in our (western) education system? Are we basing our western education system too much on modern technology and computers (as they’re obviously used broadly across all jobs and careers now). Are we missing the natural sciences, (and even anthropology), broadening our knowledge and understanding of other cultures and the natural world around us?

    • I think modern science is complex and in many cases incomprehensible to the lay person. When translated into lay terms, scientific findings get lost, skewed or misunderstood. What gets reported in the news is often times very selective.

      Then there is public perception. When it comes to climate change and evolution, a majority of adults see scientists as generally in agreement that the earth is getting warmer due to human activity (57%) or that humans have evolved over time (66%), though a sizeable minority see scientists as divided over each. Perceptions of where the scientific community stands on both climate change and evolution tend to be associated with individual views on the issue.

      I feel with the internet everybody has become an expert on very complex issues, which are in my opinion understood by a few specialists.

      Apply this phenomenon to health care and we could all be doctors and treat our maladies ourselves…

  2. When it comes to health, the internet is a fishing net full of fact/fiction/myth/opinion/orthodox/alternative and while I have done much research in the past for my own chronic problems, I’ve also seen and talked to many specialists – some of whom clearly are highly skilled in their own field, but sadly lacking in taking accurate histories/symptoms or showing compassion.

    I now, after some dozens of consultations and close to $175,000 over some 20 years take everything I see and hear ‘with a pinch of salt’. I treat many simple common symptoms with home-made chicken soup 🙂

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