Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Who Annoys You More, Climate Change Deniers Or Fetishists?

Sydney Morning Herald columnist Richard Glover jokes it is time to put a special mark on global warming skeptics - I assume he is joking, since he recognizes that is a little too Nazi creepy even for a progressive.

But he doesn't like their intransigence and outright denial.   He doesn't like the climate change fetishists all that much other - the ones hoping the world will be ruined so they can be right.  

Not that the other side isn't frustrating. There's a type of green zealot who appears to relish climate change. Every rise in sea levels is noted excitedly. Every cyclone is applauded and claimed as a noisy, deadly witness for their side.

Suddenly, it's as if they have the planet's assistance in their lifelong campaign to bully everyone else into accepting their view of the perfect world. One without any human beings. Except for them. Living in a cave. Wearing an unwashed T-shirt that not only says ''Support wildlife'' but actually does.
The big problem is that a number of people - not just Republicans but Al Gore and climate scientists and science journalists, took it upon themselves to be climate science cheerleaders, even when they should have been asking the awkward questions about grey literature and numerical models they would have asked had they been produced by skeptics.

Climate science has lost the trust of much of the public - even other scientists - and science journalists can lament the lack of jobs but the primary goal of a journalist, proving context for complex issues, was lost when they started advocating good works and using framing to spin the discussion and were no longer seen by the public as trusted guides.  Instead, science journalists became like George Will or Michael Kinsley in politics - only read by people who vote the same way and just as easy to identify politically.

Nothing is going to get done on climate change as long as it is viewed as a political issue.  As Glover notes, progressives favor a communal spirit but have fringes that have taken over the debate - and they are downright mean-spirited toward the other side, which won't inspire community effort.   Their desire for more government heavy-handedness also goes against the spirit of community.   A laissez-fair approach also can't work since, like voluntary population control, where proponents will be overwhelmed by people who breed and don't have abortions, we can't let some people pollute unchecked.

Progressives were not always for bigger government, they were once for better government.  Teddy Roosevelt ran as a Progressive in 1912 because he was a Republican who did not think government needed to be bigger, he just felt like America had a chance to do good - a lot more than a community or an individual could do on their own - and both parties were failing in that mission.   Conservatives have not inherently changed since then and liberals - at least in the classic sense of being about liberty - have not, but progressives sure have.  And not in a good way.

As Glover notes, this is solely a world view issue and not a science one.    He regards global warming skepticism of today as being similar to the left and their adoration of Soviet Communism despite obvious facts.    When the facts interfered with the world view of progressives then, they simply ignored and rationalized the facts away.

Communism starved and butchered millions - he highlights the invasion of Hungary in 1956 as a turning point in Australia but it actually took much longer for American progressives to see the evils of an all-powerful government - and it's time for conservatives to take a similar hard look at their disbelief that pollution isn't hurting anyone and will just go away, before millions die due to it.

In answer to my question in the title, who annoys me more, climate change skeptics or fetishists, I suppose I go with fetishists.  I am not much for negative personality types and skeptics are at least positive in their belief that future science will magically solve the problem before we all die.    Will they want to fund that science, since 60% of it will be done by leftwing academics?   That's an ironically difficult question, but at least they aren't hoping the world goes into the toilet.

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