Summary: The Collapse Of Western Civilization

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Climate change has slowly become a more and more undeniable truth with the scientific evidence being provided, but some people still refuse to accept the evidence that is present. This could be because of blind optimism, fear, or many other things, but either way ignorance of the evidence adds to the effect humans have on climate change. With the ignorance of the rising temperatures and sea levels, putting it off to the world running its natural course, people will continue their wasteful habits that are slowly destroying the world. In Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway’s book The Collapse of Western Civilization they confront the issue of ignorance within society by portraying a possible worst case scenario of the effect humans could have on…show more content…
A standard way of thinking about climate change is that we have plenty of time to deal with the problem before it changes the course of the earth’s composition irreversibly as “total emissions [are] still quite low” (Oreskes and Conway 2). People have a tendency to ignore or reason against things that could happen if they scare them, especially if the chance of catastrophic effects are low. An abundance of the general public and “critics claimed that the scientific uncertainties were too great… and that any attempt to solve the problem would cost more than it was worth” (Oreskes and Conway 5). This attitude diminishes the seriousness of climate change in the public’s perspective, as magazines, tabloids and articles in the general press are more easily accessible by the general public than the scientific articles, books, and writings in general that contain evidence proving the severity of the climate warming…show more content…
The population they discuss in the past knew what was happening, but were swayed away from believing the scientists because “political business, and religious leaders refused to accept that what lay behind the increasing destructiveness of these disasters was the burning of fossil fuels” (Oreskes and Conway 9). This emphasizes the weight that we allow our governments and religions to have over our own personal thoughts and beliefs, and this conveys the seriousness of the problem of any area of social power having too much power. When humans lose the ability to think freely for themselves and believe what they see to be true right in front of themselves, they are reduced to being mindless followers which can be extremely dangerous. Historical examples of these dangers include Hitler and the holocaust, and Japanese internment in World War 2. There was no evidence to justify the actions of these individuals against other particular groups of individuals, but people did not question the authority that was held. Even with all of the scientific knowledge available, “a shadow of ignorance and denial had fallen over people who considered themselves children of the Enlightenment” (Oreskes and Conway

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