The reporter’s task was to interview people from rural areas in conservative states. She was in central Texas in a rural community interviewing a middle-aged woman that had recently lost her job at a farm-related business. She was African American and was in a great deal of stress, not only because of her job situation but because she was not used to being interviewed.
After the reporter set the scene by asking about the venue, labor situation and dire finances of the interviewee, she asked, “I understand that your company closed because of especially dry conditions in the area that limited their access to products, is that the case?”
“Uh, yea, it hasn’t rain good for a long time and what we get is just short gully-washers.”
“How long have you lived in the area?”
“I was born near here and have never lived anywhere else.”
“Is this the worst dry season that you have experienced?”
The woman thought for a moment, as if she has not considered this before and responded, “Yes.”
The reporter then asked the main question for the interview, “Do you think that Climate Change or what others call Global Warming has anything to do with the extra arid conditions?”
This threw the woman for a loop. She had heard these terms but had never felt the need to know what they meant. Her experience was that if she tried to provide an answer to a question she did not understand, a follow up question would make her look foolish. She wisely said, “I am not sure I know what those words mean.”
The reporter searched for a way to answer without sounding patronizing. “I don’t blame you, the terms are difficult to explain, and I don’t really know a lot about it myself. What I understand is that using coal, oil and gasoline produce gases. These gases go into the atmosphere and prevent the earth from cooling normally causing increase in the temperature of the earth. Since these fuels are caused by human activities, it appears that we are ourselves the cause of the problem.”
The woman weighed her answer and then responded, “So what does that have to do with me losing my job?”
“Well, the theory is that as the planet warms up, the weather is changed causing extreme cases of dryness or wetness. The very many extreme storms that we have had in the last 50 years are unprecedented in recorded history.”
“So, people making things in factories, driving and heating their homes cause the dry weather here?”
“Well that is the theory that is accepted by 97% of weather and air scientists in the world.”
The woman smiled and said, “I don’t believe that, just doesn’t make sense.”
The reporter taken aback asked, “Why is it that it doesn’t make sense to you?”
The woman stood and offered some lemonade to the reporter. She brought the drink and some cookies before answering.
When she did, she appeared to have had an epiphany. She responded softly, “Because only God controls the weather.”
After the reporter ate a cookie and drank the lemonade while making small talk about the best barbecue in the area, the woman stood up and wished the reporter a good day. She then walked her to the door.