To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Tuesday, May 30, 2023


Living In Denial



If you fear change enough, you can just refuse to acknowledge that things are changing. We humans have the amazing ability to believe whatever we choose to believe, despite all the facts to the contrary.

People who make a living in the oilfield need to believe that fossil fuel consumption doesn’t cause climate change. I understand this denial. Folks have to feed their families.

An Oklahoma minister believes that a verse in Genesis is all the proof he needs to deny climate change. He believes a dozen or so words translated from Greek into English during the reign of King James I. That’s a little harder to understand.

Perhaps he can do as Solomon and St. Francis admonished and try to understand me. I’m angry about the denial.

I have a small farm. I raise chickens for eggs and meat. Last year, it was so hot that most of my chickens died despite the fan in the chicken coop window and the water misters in their yard. It was so hot that tomatoes didn’t blossom and the okra burned up. Too hot for okra!

For two years running, the last frost of the season has come a month early. This year, March was so warm that it stunted my potatoes.

At the end of June, one of my hens died from the heat. June – and I’d already lost a chicken to the heat!

This spring I painted the coop white to reflect the sun. I put up shade cloth on the south and west ends of the chicken yard. I’m running a mister and checking the girls often. It isn’t enough.

Maybe melting polar ice doesn’t drive the polar bears to the rocky islands. Maybe it isn’t melting glaciers in Greenland that cause rising ocean levels to threaten homes along the North Carolina coast. Maybe we can just avoid change until New York is swallowed and the mountains burn.

What if scientists are wrong and it isn’t carbon dioxide in the air that is shriveling my plants and killing my birds? Will anyone be hurt if we take steps to curb emissions?

What if the naysayers are wrong and it is the fossil fuels and the carbon dioxide? Are there cleaner forms of energy we can develop? Who will be hurt if we don’t try?

Wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?

I want to believe that we humans will do the right thing, but as I buried my hen in the garden, it was hard to be optimistic.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer


Previous article
Next article


  1. Oh wow Ms. Martin. You’re so right…it wouldn’t hurt us a bit to curb emissions. You seem to be unaware, however, that the raising of animals for food is the single largest contributor of emissions…I’m presuming you’re unaware of this since you note that you engage in this activity. The easiest and quickest and most effective way for anyone in this culture to decrease their contributions to the planet’s problems is to go vegan. As a “side” benefit, you will be opting out of enslavement, exploitation and the causing of unnecessary deaths.

    I won’t insult you with links to various sources for solid information about veganism, greenhouse gases and ethical behavior since I presume you are either aware of these facts or can easily find them.

  2. CAFOs, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, do indeed contribute to the production of carbon dioxide, and I believe that the suffering of animals crowded together in unnatural conditions is immoral. Grass-fed operations, in which animals can be animals, is a different story altogether.

    Transporting our food an average of 1500 miles from producer to market also contributes greenhouse gasses. Relying on local food and local farmers is part of the solution, whether one is vegan or not.

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.