INTRODUCTION TO CLIMATE
Describing the Indescribable
I HAVE LEARNED that people have a view of the world that they bring to any situation. This view is assembled from all their experiences and learning and beliefs and they understand it based on their ability to reason and so to comprehend the parts of all their beliefs.
If you bring science and they do not understand in depth what science is, to them they may view it as somthing apart from the world, as if it came to infiltrate what was normal. To say that weather and climate are two different things is hard to understand.
You must explain that weather is a moment by moment change in their surroundings, the temperature that day, a storm, rain or snow. To understand that climate is all of the parts of weather combined and how that changes over a long period of time can be difficult. This is especially true when try to explain a cause for the change in climate.
It could be that as far as anyone can remember there was always plenty of rain for their crops, but year by year there is less and less until they no longer have enough food or water.
THEN TO SAY that the change is due to their burning more coal or oil seems like something not connected, especially if in the middle of a rain storm you say that the climate has become more dry.
We all are suspecious of something that conflicts with our "world view," even if the evidence is unmistakeable.
Then if all our friends believe one way or another, without deep knowledge and knowing how to reason, they will accept what their friends believe.
A college professor friend of mine, would not believe that the climate was getting warmer simply because we were having a light snow. Yet the snow could be even a record storm and yet the climate, the average of the weather over many years, could be changing.
The hurricane that flooded this city and the drought that dried this land that was once the bottom of a lake are both part of our changing climate.