Alternative Universes

In his column today Paul Krugman writes that the congresspersons who opposed the climate bill last week are traitors to the planet. And he added,

But if you watched the debate on Friday, you didn’t see people who’ve thought hard about a crucial issue, and are trying to do the right thing. What you saw, instead, were people who show no sign of being interested in the truth. They don’t like the political and policy implications of climate change, so they’ve decided not to believe in it — and they’ll grab any argument, no matter how disreputable, that feeds their denial.

Well, yes. No one denies the science behind global climate change is hard to grasp. The very fact of calling it “global warming” even is a problem since it doesn’t mean the globe is getting uniformly warmer, a point lost on the wingnuts who celebrate as vindication every time some part of the planet is unseasonably cool.

It’s an article of faith among the wingnuts that there is a vast underground of scientists who believe global climate change is a hoax, and their beliefs are somehow being suppressed by a minority of powerful scientific uber-lords who are using the global warming issue to create a socialistic one-world government.

In fact, not only do the overwhelming majority of earth scientists think that global climate change is real, 97 percent of climatologists say humans play a role. The biggest doubters are petroleum geologists — wonder why? — and meteorologists, who are not especially knowledgeable about long-term climate trends.

Reactions to Krugman’s column reveal much about peoples’ inner craziness. Libertarians, for example, are less afraid the planet will become inhabitable than they are afraid Krugman will line them up against a wall and have them shot. See also some meathead at the American Enterprise Institute — “Is Paul Krugman Inciting Violence?“)

Others think that not to give the tiny minority of scientists who deny global climate change at least as much credibility and debate time (more, actually) than the majority is denying free speech, or the right to dissent, or some such thing.

Of course, the Right is accustomed to being thus catered to by media. As Krugman himself once said, “If Bush said that the world was flat, the headline on the news analysis would read ‘Shape of Earth: Views Differ’.”

The one thing they absolutely will not allow themselves to admit is that climate changes might be the real danger. Not Paul Krugman, not liberals, not even climatologists. If Steven Spielberg were to cast them in a film, they’d be the mayor wanting to keep the beach open (until the shark attack) or the investment lawyer worried about profits and PR (until eaten by a T Rex).

13 thoughts on “Alternative Universes

  1. It seems to me that conservatives, bottom line, fear change of any kind – good, bad or indifferent makes no difference. And among some that fear approaches a pathology.

    And, finally, I’m back to the good Dr. Pangloss – “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.” The nose was created for spectacles, therefore we wear spectacles. The earth was created for automobiles, therefore we drive automobiles. Oil was created for energy, therefore it is our source of energy.

    I think it’s recognized that a phobia is an irrational fear and even though I know of no clinical term for the fear of change, there should be one because righties have it in spades. And of course a rational argument never ‘cures’ an irrational belief so we should just give up trying to convince some that global warming is the reality of today.

  2. Real science is subject to experimental proof. To the anti-science right, bloviation is as good as science.

  3. The Republicans and the people who support them are spoiled little children. And, they are angry because they are not in power and they are going to take their ball home if they don’t get their way. Maybe they will hold their breath and turn blue until we give in to their childish actions.

  4. In the ‘old day’s,’ many, or some, conservatives believed in facts. That is now gone.
    That is why Colbert’s “truthiness” commentaries are so brilliant. They follow their gut, not their brains. This is the end result of the accomodations to the “Religious Right.”

  5. If Steven Spielberg were to cast them in a film, they’d be the mayor wanting to keep the beach open (until the shark attack) or the investment lawyer worried about profits and PR (until eaten by a T Rex).

    Or maybe a southern governor sneering at government spending just before the volcano blew up. Oh, wait… That one actually happened.

    felicity: According to these guys, fear of change is kainotophobia.

  6. Would that we had a T-Rex around to chomp ol’ Inhofe, even if swallowing that bastard would probably kill the poor dino. Such poetic justice seems reserved for the movies, though. The planet will be irrevocably spiraling down the drain before those jackasses get their comeuppances.

  7. I haven’t read the Taibbi article in the latest RS called the Great American Bubble Machine but Thom Hartmann shared some of the details this morning. The story is about a long history of Goldman-Sachs shenanigans of which, Taibbi asserts. “cap and trade” is the latest. A new issue must come out before previous issue content goes online… saving it for CA-FL redeye ver the 4rth.

  8. I’m not going to cut and paste what is so commonly available but for the reading challenged above who would say otherwise, to be credible you must offer some credible and generally accepted proof. The most commonly available sources sugeest the consensus if far from what you claim it is.

  9. These mad hatters never fail to amaze me. I have been reading quite a lot about climate change recently and its remarkable. Portable water will become scarcer, look for wars in Asia and the Middle East over this issue. Energy is going to be scarcer as well, which in a way is nice because the energy and carbon has put us in this position; however until we are willing to sacrifice some of our “quality of life” issues we are going to run into real problems.

    On a related note, I would like everyone reading these words to take 20 minutes out of your day and type “the story of stuff” into youtube – there is a remarkable short film about well, stuff. You all should watch it.

  10. PP — not sure I understand what you’re saying. If you’re trying to say that there is no scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change, your link doesn’t actually support that.


  11. I just read something that for me perfectly sums up the (senseless) arguments denying global warming, against health-care reform…and anything else that fits. American politics has become a phenomenon where governing is turned into a permanent campaign.

    Government has been remade into an instrument designed to sustain an elected official’s public popularity. Politics is policy. Issues are instruments to advance the political cause of electing someone to office/or to keep the seat he occupies/or not to jeopardize his standing among his funders.

    The reality is, again, that politics is policy.

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