Yesterday I brought together a climate change denier and a climate change believer for an in-person conversation sitting on the banks of the Little Mulberry River. The color of the river, as you can see above, is a surreal mineral blue-green. I did not think this conversation would happen during the pandemic in the polarized political environment in the US. I’m surprised I didn’t weep when I got these two men together to discuss climate change while sitting on the banks of one of the cleanest rivers in the state. I recorded their conversation for a podcast I’m producing. The climate change denier, an Arkansas state senator, believes in climate change but doesn’t think man contributes to climate change. The climate change believer is an organic farmer who has been working the land in rural Arkansas for the past 40 years. The organic farmer tried to convince the senator to invest in solar panels for his home and for the state capital. The senator said he did want to put solar energy on his property, and the farmer recommended several experts in solar energy. They both agreed that in conversations on Facebook and Twitter, people say things they would never say in person. And they discussed disinformation and how Facebook and Twitter have served to spread disinformation in ways that have poisoned democracy.
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