Nobody’s Right if Everybody’s Wrong

by Dr. Kathy Miller Perkins

“Something is happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear ”
Lyrics from For What It’s Worth-Buffalo Springfield, 1966

HEADLINES

 Six Officers Charged in Freddie Gray Death[1]

 Public division about climate change rooted in conflicting socio-political identities [2]

MLGAs I was writing the blog this month, I found myself distracted by news headlines that seemed to beg for my attention.  I read the stories of riots in Baltimore over the death while in police custody of, a young black man, Freddie Gray.  Eyewitness accounts differed dramatically on the “facts” of what transpired.  And each witness seemed to have great confidence in the details as he or she described them.

Moreover, I ran across an article on climate change that stated, “U.S. believers and skeptics have distinct social identities, beliefs and emotional reactions that systematically predict their support for action to advance their respective positions.”[3]  The authors argued that communication and education are unlikely to resolve the divide since the opinions are rooted in emotion. They stated, “Interventions that increase angry opposition to action on climate change are especially problematic.”

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