What exactly is it we are referring to when we use the word “sky”?
If we think about it carefully:
the sky is an emergent object which only strictly speaking “exists” when you have an unobstructed view upwards towards a purely natural atmospheric and/or astronomical background.
So if i can see clouds, blue sky ( daylight ), or stars, I am seeing some aspect of the day-time or night-time sky.
But what about if I’m in the sky looking downwards? Well in that case, unless I can see other sky to the side, turn around to see it behind me, or see it’s reflection in something below me, then no I cannot see the sky … I may be looking through the atmosphere towards the ground, and I may be in the sky, but I can’t actually see the sky.
The atmosphere itself is mostly transparent unless there’s some kind of water condensation or other haze to give it visibility, but the sky exists only in a specific perspective viewpoint.
So when someone says: “the sky is falling”, well it cannot fall as that isn’t a behaviour it’s capable of … but did the person making that claim know that it can’t fall? Did they understand what they meant when they referred to the sky or the act of falling, or were they talking about some other object and/or behaviour, and they were just unaware of their failure to correctly communicate what they meant to say, such that another person could understand? Perhaps they did realise and they were being disingenuous? … and there are many other possibilities as to the flaw in the communicated idea.
Does any of the above mean that nothing is happening at all? No … certainly not necessarily. Even if they were being disingenuous, they may very well be inaccurately speaking about something that happens to be true or partially true.
Think about this in terms of the modern world:
- we have lots of claims being made, some disingenuous;
- games of brinkmanship with facts and falsehoods mixed together;
- blame shifting by those responsible whom can no longer deny truth;
- cowardice towards acknowledgement of & responsibility for blame;
- ignorance & scientific literacy leading to failure of interpretation;
- laziness and narcissism leading to bias of interpretation …
… it’s really not a truth-friendly world.
But as I’ve indicated in my opening, for those of you who care to know, there is a way through the mire of misinformation, and that’s through the semantic analysis of the words you use and of those you hear and read.
You might ask for example, is climate change real? Then follow a logical approach to analysing the question:
- what is anthropogenic?
- what is climate?
- what is change?
- what is implied by the phrase anthropogenic climate change?
- what is the context in which I’m asking?
- is this part of a bigger picture of ecological concerns?
- what are those concerns?
- … and so on …
In doing so, you’ll eventually ( and perhaps frequently ) come across some paradoxical quandaries of contradictory claims and information, and this is where you’ve really got to kick your brain into high gear.
- Did companies and other organisations of special interests hide information with regard to climate change or any other related ecological issues? Yes.
- Did they also modify and use such information for their own agenda and games of brinkmanship? Yes.
- So if you only knew about the former but not the latter what might you conclude? “The sky is falling”, it’s a conspiracy.
- And if you only knew about the latter but not the former what might you conclude? “The sky is falling” is alarmist propaganda used to pursue financial and political interests, and which gullible people believe.
- Are these two conclusions necessarily mutually exclusive? No. It’s entirely possible that “the sky is falling” if we first correct that claim to be a better wording of what is actually going on, then realise the game of brinkmanship is actually real, but also realise that some of the “sky is falling” proponents are being alarmist in the sense that a real concern exists, but they don’t understand it well enough to articulate it accurately and correctly.
In the end it basically comes down to this:
- slow down, you don’t need to know the answer in the next 25 seconds, take your time to analyse;
- it’s ok not to hold an opinion and to say “I don’t know, I haven’t made my mind up yet”;
- treat all information the same no matter the source: “if I don’t understand this, then I cannot base a conclusion on it, and even if I do understand it, that still doesn’t necessarily mean I can base a rock solid conclusion on it”.
When you hear someone arguing a case for anything that involves killing people, you can bet your boots that someone in that discussion is lying ( if not all of them ), and if there’s money to be made from the outcome, then the probability, depth, frequency, and quantity of lies will increase proportionally with the amount of money to be made.
So no matter what you hear and from whom, you’ve got to really pick apart every word and combination of words used to completely understand both the obvious / overt direct claims being made, as well as the obscure / covert indirect implications being implied … then exercise your skills of critical thinking to sift and strain to get down to the bottom of whom is saying what and why … only then can you approach the truth, or at least the gateway to it.