The threat is real

Pat Healy, Chewton.

There are opinions and there are facts. Some issues, such as the date of Australia Day, are a matter of differing opinions that can promote important community discussion, as Ian Braybrook suggests (Castlemaine Mail February 1). But others, such as the impact of global warming, are a matter of fact. And opinions don’t change facts, although they can have serious consequences when they ignore or deny the facts. History is littered with examples of wars and disasters resulting from actions based on powerful people’s ill-informed opinions. And today, actions that communities across the world should be taking to minimise the impact of global warming are frequently hindered or even prevented by people who hold tight to their woefully ignorant opinions that 1 or 2 degrees of temperature rise will, in Bill Bayliss’ words, (Castlemaine Mail, Feb 1) “pose no threat” to our future. So by all means let us all discuss our differing opinions on anything and everything. But let us never forget that opinions that ignore or deny the facts almost always lead to, at best, unfortunate outcomes. And at worst they can lead to the sort of existential disaster that now threatens our planet and our children’s future.