As a result of his son coming out gay, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, recently changed his position to pro-gay marriage. He reconsidered his opposition to marriage equality because he could see that it hurt someone he loves. That started me thinking about the nature of empathy.
A majority of scientists believe that extreme weather like wildfires, droughts and superstorms is in part caused by climate change. But U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, said, "I'm not as convinced as a lot of people are that man-made climate change is the threat they think it is."
Would Stewart still be a climate change denier if the economic and emotional damage done by the fires that devoured homes all over the West last year had affected him personally, burning his home to the ground?