If only gay sex caused global warming

Why we’re more scared of gay marriage and terrorism than a much deadlier threat.

NO ONE seems to care about the upcoming attack on the World Trade Center site. Why? Because it won’t involve villains with box cutters. Instead, it will involve melting ice sheets that swell the oceans and turn that particular block of lower Manhattan into an aquarium.

The odds of this happening in the next few decades are better than the odds that a disgruntled Saudi will sneak onto an airplane and detonate a shoe bomb. And yet our government will spend billions of dollars this year to prevent global terrorism and … well, essentially nothing to prevent global warming.

Why are we less worried about the more likely disaster? Because the human brain evolved to respond to threats that have four features — features that terrorism has and that global warming lacks.

Human beings are irrational animals at their core. We have this layer of reasoning ability which sits on top thousands of years of evolutionary programming. So although theoretically, everyone can realize that global warming is among the biggest threat we face, you’re more likely to mobilize people against something like gay marriage, because it appeals to more primitive brain functions. It’s a really sad statement about our species.

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