I thought I would post this video (H/T Victor) by Veritasium who, last year, posted a video called 13 misconceptions about global warming. This new video is him discussing the fall out from his climate change video and, given the title, focuses on being hated. His suggestion is that maybe it’s okay to be hated, as it means that you’re probably sticking to your principles and saying things that challenge what other people might believe.
One problem I have with the “be hated” idea is that – as he himself says – simply being hated doesn’t mean that you’re doing something right. On the other hand, if you’re going to stick your neck out and publicly express your views, it’s probably hard to avoid encountering some who might appear to hate you. He also discusses whether or not one should engage with such people – “don’t feed the trolls” – and suggests that you lose something by not responding. Willard might be pleased – ClimateballTM: the only losing move is not to play the game 🙂
My own personal take is to simply be true to yourself. Be honest, say what you believe, take heed of criticism when it seems measured and thoughtful, and largely ignore those who seem incapable of not being vitriolic and unpleasant (I say “largely”, because sometimes there may be a grain of truth in their vitriol). Sadly, if you do choose to engage publicly about a contentious topic like climate change, it’s hard to avoid being insulted and potentially discovering people who appear to hate you because of what you say.
Personally, I think this is unfortunate, as it is an important topic and it would be good if more engaged publicly. On the other hand, I can understand why many might choose not to. Certainly my advice to anyone who doesn’t like the idea of being hated, is to not get involved. I have found it quite difficult at times, because it is something I’ve never encountered before. You do, however, learn how to deal with it and how to mostly ignore those who seem incapable of being reasonable. One thing to be careful of is to not start responding in kind; easier said than done at times, though. Another thing to be careful of is starting to ignore all your critics; you can’t be right all the time. I’d like to say that you eventually learn how to do this, but I’m not sure that’s strictly true; it’s a continual learning experience.