Citizen Diplomacy and Iran

We are friends!

Ancient Persepolis

In November I was fortunate to become one of the few Americans  to travel to Iran this past year. We were there for 8 days. After hearing what an awful country Iran is for the past 40 years, I was thrilled to find a vibrant, friendly people. Their friendliness was amazing  It was difficult to go for a walk or get anywhere because they stopped us to give us candy, find out where we were from, and they would ask: “Where are you from?” “How do you like the food” How do you like our country?” I think some of it was they are so isolated and we were a window to the world, but they are genuinely a friendly people.  One couple came up to me at the historic site Persepolis and told me they loved me because I was so kind.  We heard over and over,”We both have bad governments, but we the people, we are friends!”

These soldiers wanted me to take their picture.

An interesting article from the Washington Post, five myths people believe about Iran. myths of Iran

A dry river bed in the heart of Tehran

This article blames the recent protests on water issues, and they do have a serious drought problem. Read about climate change  and a lack of water in Iran at Climate  

Who Do You Trust?

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Why do we pick and choose what to believe?

The PBS News Hour did an interesting segment on what Americans believe about GMOs, vaccines and climate change. I hope you will watch. See below.

Because the world is complicated, it is impossible to be an experts on all topics. We need to accept the opinions and facts of someone, and we need sources that we can trust and sources that  reliable.   How do we determine who to believe?

Our brains try to make sense of a complicated world. Is the simplest explanation the one that we like? What role do our friends, family and religion play in our interpretations? Do Rush Limbaugh or Mike Huckabee know more about science than Bill Nye, the science guy?

I think we believe the explanation that best fits into the paradigm of our view of the world. We want ideas that are simple and easy to understand,  We want ideas that don’t limit our freedom or cost us money.

Whose ideas do you trust? This is a fascinating discussion on what the public and scientists believe about climate change, vaccines and GMO products.

The PBS segment follows:

**     http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/pick-choose-science-believe/

A new science check site: http://www.factcheck.org/scicheck/

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/bill-nye-on-maher-lets-be-honest-climate-skeptics-are-just-deniers/

Below link: Scientist paid by the fossil fuel industry to raise scientific doubt

http://ecowatch.com/2015/02/23/climate-deniers-funding-fossil-fuel-industry/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=81e2961c16-Top_News_2_23_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-81e2961c16-85912169

http://www.factcheck.org/2015/01/distorting-climate-change-threats-solutions/

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/article/2015/feb/26/50-fox-news-lies-6-seconds-daily-show/