Do you ever read the opinion section in the newspaper and wonder: “Who Cares?”
I tend to follow politics and news because it fascinates me, but every so often I’ll hear an argument that strikes me as asinine. When I read about Texas officials attacking the renewable energy industry after the polar vortex knocked out power to their (mostly fueled by fossil fuels) state I had to scratch my head. I couldn’t see how pointing fingers at wind turbines could help any of the people who were left without power and heat for days. It seemed like a pretty cheap way to score political points and push an anti-environment agenda.
But the merits and downfalls of renewable energy versus fossil fuels are beyond the scope of this blog and almost completely beside the point. I don’t understand why this debate brings out such animosity in people.
OK, maybe I shouldn’t say that. I recycle, compost, eat a plant-based diet and recently switched my energy supplier to a company more focused on renewables, carbon offsets and green energy. I’m something of an environmentalist and can understand people protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, strapping themselves to bulldozers and not buying products that contribute to deforestation. What I find so hard to understand is why people get so upset about recycling, composting and solar panels. I can understand why a coal miner or a guy at the power plant might worry about losing their jobs, but why should I care? Why do people get so riled up to defend the coal and oil industries? Do oil barons really need our help that much?
But more to the point: Why does everyone need to have an opinion about everything? My favorite thing about social media is scrolling through countless cat pictures and the worst thing is hearing everyone’s opinion about inconsequential shit like Nike and k-pods. Yeah, sometimes it’s nice to have discussions and hear different ideas, but I don’t usually go to Facebook for highbrow political commentary. What I see on Facebook is usually Joe Blow who fills the vending machines at work repeating something he heard one of the talking heads on TV get riled up about. There are better sources of information than that.
And don’t forget. I’m not an expert in much of anything. Usually, I only share my opinions to try to get a laugh.
A few months ago I was tagged in a Facebook post by someone asking my opinion about some headline and it felt great to say “I don’t have an opinion about this. I don’t know enough about the situation to form and an opinion and I don’t have enough interest to learn more.” I understand that can be construed as a somewhat asshole response, but I think we need more of that.
You don’t always need an opinion. It’s as simple as that.