Confronted with Climate Change, Rightbloggers Advocate Resistance (To Doing Anything About It)

tomt200.jpgIt is commonly believed that conservatives' appeal to voters is based on fear -- fear of blacks; fear of homosexuals; fear of cities (which is pretty much fear of blacks and homosexuals); fear of the poor (or rather, fear you will be forced to give money to the poor, many of whom are black people, whom you fear, which makes you feel less than manly, which feeling you probably associate with homosexuals), etc. etc.

But that isn't entirely true. In one area at least conservatives are against fear: That is, when it comes to climate change, of which we were recently reminded by a big government report, they want you to know that there's nothing to be afraid of -- Jesus will fix the melting ice shelves and dying honey bees; don't worry, be happy. And when pressed, they fall back on what's probably their best argument: Yeah, we screwed the planet -- so you might as well forget all about it, and focus on the free market.

You're probably aware that the scientists who specialize in climate issues are overwhelmingly convinced that human activity is rapidly changing the Earth's climate for the worse -- and that the National Climate Assessment recently issued by the U.S. Commerce Department suggests some of these effects are already well underway and visible in droughts and floods.

Prominent conservatives say that's a bunch of bullshit -- including venerable ones you'd think would be too embarrassed to say things like, "if it's very cold in the winter... [liberals] blame it on global warming" (Charles Krauthammer) and "If you want a tenure-track position in academia, don't question the reigning orthodoxy on climate change" (George F. Will).

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You don't get it? That's too bad -- we were hoping you'd tell us. (VIa.)
Why? Basically, because their electoral champions the Republicans get a shit-ton of money from oil and gas interests, which interests are, for reasons you can guess, not eager to see the U.S. cut back on carbon emissions. (This explanation is provided in part for the benefit of Andrew Sullivan, who despite his decades-long tenure as the American Right's gay poster boy actually said last week of his comrades' denialism, "I don't get it, however much I try.")

From a rightblogger perspective, scientists weren't the only villains here: The press aka the Lame Stream Media are also involved in this "warmist" conspiracy, and rightbloggers promoted that POV too -- for instance, Presstitution laughed off an All Things Considered program on a recent NASA press conference on the parlous condition of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet thus: "Rather than provide any soundbites from critics of the NASA report, [reporter Nell] Greenfieldboyce doubled-down on NPR's climate change agenda... NPR is no stranger to providing uncritical coverage of its climate change agenda." They could have gotten Rush Limbaugh to do counterpoint, but instead they just went with scientists, because they knew what they would say. The fix is in!

But increasingly the villains in rightbloggers' climate change stories are the pointy-heads with Ph.Ds themselves, who presume to tell normal Americans what science is.

At the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto rose in defense of Marco Rubio, who had been spoken roughly to by snooty liberals "for refusing to submit to scientific authority," in much the same way many of us were unfairly punished with extra homework for refusing to bow to the diktat of high-school Algebra.

Well, Rubio may not have much book-learning, huffed Taranto, but he didn't see any science degrees on the liberal snoots' resumes -- "ignorant journalists taunt politicians for their ignorance," he said, "but have no argument beyond an appeal to authority."

And while Taranto had Rush Limbaugh on his side, to what authority did the liberals appeal? Some so-called scientists. Taranto admitted "appeals to authority aren't necessarily fallacious," and can even be "a sound argument if the authority is both relevant and trusted," but you can't trust climate scientists, at least not the Lame Stream ones, and Taranto had the proof: a Swedish climatologist named Lennart Bengtsson claimed he'd been forced to resign from an advisory council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation because the Foundation wouldn't tolerate his climate skepticism -- whoops, actually the Foundation itself is proudly climate-skeptical; Bengtsson was resigning because people outside the Foundation were mean to him. (We wonder if this means Rubio will now resign from the Republican Party.)

Bengtsson, quoted Taranto from National Review, suffered "abuse" from "the climate-science community." What sort of abuse? He was "abused on science blogs," quoted Taranto from the London Daily Mail, "with one describing the people who condemned him as 'respectable' and that his actions amounted to 'silliness.' Another described him as a 'crybaby.'" Gasp! Calling a man who was brave enough to quit a sympathetic front group and then bitch about it all over the world a "crybaby!" And on blogs, where the tone of discourse is normally so polite! After this example, Taranto hoped readers could now "distinguish an authoritarian from a real authority," such as Rush Limbaugh.

Smaller fry shared Taranto's outrage that someone was mean to a skeptic, in even more overheated terms. "The climate 'community' has now cleansed Lennart Bengtsson," harrumphed Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit, who also described people's disagreement with his champion as a "fatwa" and predicted hopefully that it would "engender and reinforce contempt for the 'community' in the broader society." When a climate scientist tweeted, "Groups perceived to be acting in bad faith should not be surprised that they are toxic within the science community," National Review's Rupert Darwall declared the "tweet demonstrates how far climate science has crossed the boundary deep into pseudo-science," such as Marxism, "Freudian psychoanalysis and Alfred Adler's psychology."

"Scientists Condemned For Political Bias On Climate Change," seethed Capitalists Rebellion. "Scared of Being Blacklisted? If you doubt global warming you should be."

"Warmists Go On Witch Hunt," announced William Teach at Right Wing News. "...No dissent is allowed." Teach also noted that Bengtsson compared his treatment to McCarthyism, but demurred: "Not sure if McCarthyism is correct, because McCarthy was actually right about communists infiltrating the government." Insert relevant film clip here:

"This is more akin to the way scientists like Galileo and Copernicus were persecuted," added Teach. "...the climate change movement certainly acts more like a repressive religion, the way the Catholic church was during a time." We imagine he'll get some letters about that.

When they were not directly attacking scientists as natural liars, rightbloggers portrayed the idea of trying to alleviate climate change as self-evidently ridiculous, like gay marriage or raising the minimum wage.

At Real Clear Politics, Selena Zito pimped a Georgia Republican named Delvis Dutton who's challenging Democratic Congressman John Barrow from the extreme right as a Man of the People. Dutton poses "dressed in a blue short-sleeved shirt, one arm leaning on his truck," said Zito, which among Republicans denotes the common touch, and says things like "I am running against Congress." Haw haw! "This guy says what everyone else is thinking," swooned Zito.

What has this got to do with climate change? Well, though Dutton hasn't won yet -- and there's a very good chance he never will -- "one thing Dutton already has won," claimed Zito, "is the sentiment of a country dumbfounded that President Barack Obama last week defined climate change as the most pressing issue facing the country."

Following through on this mood swing, Zito told us that Obama should be focusing on the economy instead of the imminent death of the planet, and the fact that he hasn't will "smack the sensibilities of regular folks," because these regular folks "don't care for... the issue being used politically to slice and dice the country..." Thus Obama and his evil scientists' climate change obsession will cost the Democrats the midterms, and patriots will celebrate their comeuppance, possibly on a party boat floating above River Street in Savannah.


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26 comments
emjayay
emjayay

Yea, climate change will be beneficial overall to the US. Not counting losing all of Florida and New York City and Washington DC except Capitol Hill and all other coastal cities including Great Lakes ports, and driving agriculture to Canada where at a certain point going north the soil can't ever come close to supporting it. Other than that, not much of a problem. We can just burn twice as much coal to keep Phoenix air conditioned at 130 degrees in the summer. With the internet, no one really needs to go outside their house most of the year anyway.

DavidNutzuki
DavidNutzuki

Climate blame fear mongering and exaggeration has made us all fear mongering neocons. This was OUR Iraq War.

DavidNutzuki
DavidNutzuki

Science refuses to say "proven" or "100%" or "WILL be a crisis" or anything beyond; 95% and "could be" so if science can't be certain that THE END IS NEAR, you can't "believe".

Science is 100% certain the planet is not flat and have been 95% certain for 32 years that CO2 "could" flatten the planet?
"Believe" what you like but don't "believe" more than science does as three decades of "could be" is anything you want it to be but not; "sustainable".

DavidNutzuki
DavidNutzuki

Climate change has done to us what Bush and his false wars did for them.


McSalmon
McSalmon

Currently, the majority scientific consensus is running around saying 'We are fucked.' and the conservative response ranges from "Whatever, nothing to do about it now - I'ma count my money again!" to "Fuck you hippie, hawhaw!". They don't care, and why should they - by the time the shit really hits the fan, they'll have passed this mortal coil. That or Tea Party Jesus and his Founding Father Posse will ride in, scoop up the righteous and laugh at the hippies as they ride off to the Celestial Ponderosa. Probably a few believe that they will be uploaded into a supercomputer and live in a simulation or get a ticket to the off-world colonies or something, but so why bother listening to scientists when they're going to get us virtual BJs and digital pecs anyway? 


Ecocide is staring them five inches from their face and they can't be bothered to even change their light bulbs. And we put these fuckers in charge.

Johnny_Deep
Johnny_Deep

Calling Andrew Sullivan "The American Right's gay poster boy" is a stretch and a half. To say he really has anything to do w/ the American Right -- especially nowadays is kind of bunk. 

dstatton
dstatton

It's not quite as stupid as denying the holocaust or evolution, but it's getting close.

emjayay
emjayay

@DavidNutzuki  And World War II is just like an apple, and Quantum Theory is exactly like an orange.

McSalmon
McSalmon

@DavidNutzuki So, we shall believe nothing, until it is so obvious that doing something about it will be pointless, and we will all suffer, but damn it! At least we had our pride! Could you imagine how ridiculous we would look if we did something the vast majority of experts concluded after decades of study 'Might' have averted a global catastrophe and didn't? Thank God you were here to talk some homespun wisdom to us; I'm sure it'll all be fine now.

DavidNutzuki
DavidNutzuki

@AbelAdamski At least former "believers" know that it was "believers" who were certain, not science. Who's the fear mongering neocon again here? Stop scaring our kids like neocon!

DavidNutzuki
DavidNutzuki

@McSalmon NO, science says; "could be" and 95% and "likely" and "possibly" and.....NEVER "will be" or "proven" like they say smoking will cause cancer.

Why do you WANT this to be a real crisis?

dstatton
dstatton

@McSalmon  I wish everyone would read Jared Diamond's Collapse, his study of how societies destroy themselves.  Ecocide indeed.

DavidNutzuki
DavidNutzuki

@McSalmon @DavidNutzuki Who let YOU decide? 

Science has NEVER been more than their laughable "95%" certain in 32 years. Prove us deniers wrong!

Our children deserve more than "could be" before we condemn them to the greenhouse gas ovens of an exaggerated crisis

McSalmon
McSalmon

@DavidNutzuki @McSalmon I would very much prefer that it is not a real crisis, but apparently well heeled oil tycoons,  financial speculators and crazy "agenda 21" goofballs have decided that we get to have it because rich people deserve their money and Jesus will save them in the end. Aren't we lucky to have them around to explain to us what gets to happen, despite the protestation of sane people?

McSalmon
McSalmon

@DavidNutzuki @McSalmon Wrong about what? What claims have you guys made, except that we can't possibly know what's going to happen because you don't get math? Would you willingly put your head to a gun which had 19 loaded chambers and 1 empty one? You have nothing but hand waving and obfuscation on your side, and millions of dollars, happily provided by the same sort of Bastards in Suits that coaxed the nation into invading Iraq. So here's my question: Who decided that YOU have the same amount of clout as thousands of professionals who study this very subject, when you can't even crack a book to figure out the science in the first place?

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