Friday, February 27, 2015

Right Wing World: Climate Change Still Happening, Deniers Still Denying

Of all of the strange things I've blogged about over the years, probably the most frequent one is the bizarre fact that virtually every issue has become a left vs. right shouting match, even those things that don't have a logical, political divide. Climate change may be becoming an even bigger one than abortion or gay rights.

Let me start with what is strangest about it to me: conservatives should probably be on the conservation side of this one, but aren't. Given their heavy saturation with religion, you'd think that wantonly raping and pillaging the earth to wring every drop of fossil fuel out of it might bother them. You'd think potentially ruining the beauty of vast regions and making parts of the planet  inhospitable for "God's creation" would also spur a twinge of guilt. And you'd think the regimentation and repeatable nature of science would align with that rigid, upright (tight assed) reputation that conservatives always use to have. Nope.
Yeah, let's just ignore the scientists.
That never goes wrong.

Long ago, anything to do with nature, science, conservation, regulation, safety, caution, concern for future consequences (in anything beyond the national debt, or a nuclear Iran) all became dirty hippie, granola munching, kale and arugula eating liberal stuff. Somehow, a scientific consensus (and that is what there is among climatologists, a high 90-percentile on board with man-made global climate change) is just a liberal conspiracy, invented by Al Gore after he made the internet, just so he could put the screws to energy companies. Or something.

See, part of my problem is the motive. For a believable conspiracy, you need a motive, and "So Al Gore can feel important and get rich(er)" doesn't seem like enough to me. Sure, you'll hear some conservatives try to say there is a "climate change industry" that will allegedly get rich too, somehow, though I've seen no through-thread from climatologists to Solyndra. But even if a credible "truther" movement had gelled, HOW did it overtake the majority of conservatives' and Republicans' world view, from the layperson to high elected officials?

All of this ignores the fact that of course man can affect the ecology with pollution. We've seen acid rain, state-sized oil slicks and garbage patches, ozone holes, rivers and lakes and sometimes tap water that are combustible. We've seen earthquakes that coincide with fracking patterns. Smog in big cities to the point of severe health alerts. In China, the air is practically a solid. Go back to the early industrial revolution, there were blackened cities from coal. And hey, how 'bout Chernobyl? Clearly, it is possible for us to affect our immediate area, surrounding areas, down-river areas and beyond with the things we as humans do. Why the hell is it even remotely hard to believe that it could accumulate, grow, become something that is a global concern? Why? And how exactly is that left or right?

My guess is, conservatives think that if they're wrong, we will either
get a rapture or The Jetsons, so what's the problem?
The answer is kind of easy: huge monied interests, gigantic corporations with deep pockets would really rather not have a lot (or any) regulations. They'd rather not be forced to change at all until there is no fossil fuel left to exploit. Full speed ahead, dirtier and more dangerous methods of extraction, it doesn't matter as long as there is profit. So, anything that puts the brakes on hurts profits, any caution would anger shareholders. Corporations and their shareholders rarely plot out contingency plans beyond the next quarter(s). Their concern is profit, now. So forget that forging new, cleaner plans for energy could make them a bundle too. Forget even making plans to contain inevitable clean-up necessary for more difficult fossil fuel extraction. Profit, profit, profit.

So, they fund think tanks, they fund punditry, they fund their own "science," so they can latch onto anything that might throw a credible-sounding counter argument, so that they can continue raking it in. And if there's one thing the conservative media will grab onto it's giant corporations and their funding. "Job creators" shall not be questioned! So, it's not hard to see where the genesis of Right Wing World's climate change denialism comes from. It's just amazing how entrenched it is, when it's built on such an insubstantial foundation. But it's a fabulous case study on how to get a base of voters to vote against logic, reason and their own self-interest. And it also shows how easily you can get a group of people who have wedded their politics to their religion, to champion your cause as though it is their own.

But can we please not go totally Gomer Pyle, and claim that a snowstorm disproves "global warming?" Can we at least squelch the stupid? No, I guess not. [By the way, if you're wondering how the excerpted article below resulted in the Right Wing World column above, just follow the link and head to the comments there. WOW.]


The big melt: Antarctica's retreating ice may re-shape Earth
From the ground in this extreme northern part of Antarctica, spectacularly white and blinding ice seems to extend forever. What can't be seen is the battle raging underfoot to re-shape Earth. Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, melting it where it hits the oceans. As the ice sheets slowly thaw, water pours into the sea - 130 billion tons of ice (118 billion metric tons) per year for the past decade, according to NASA satellite calculations. That's the weight of more than 356,000 Empire State Buildings, enough ice melt to fill more than 1.3 million Olympic swimming pools. And the melting is accelerating. . .

Read more at: AOL News


  1. Well, Jamie, if you feel so strongly about climate change, then there are some folks down the road from you have the same view as yours: The Amish.
    They have little use of oil and they use renewable resources like the trees.
    So, Jamie, you can live with the Amish because that is basically what climate change believers want.

  2. Great solution!

    C'mon, Dan. That's *not* what climate change "believers" want. It's not some kind of faith without evidence. But at least starting a conversion to cleaner energy doesn't just make sense for the environment, it makes sense for the economy in the long run, obviously would lead to a more sustainable, healther way of life, and would be inexhaustible. No more fracking and pipelines and exploding trains and oil spills. Solar, wind and geothermal energy don't tend to cause massive disasters. Are we there yet? No. But what could be more conservative than conservation?

    And that's my main question. How does being conservative make a person disbelieve in science? I don't understand how a political ideology means you can't believe the science of something. Why?


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