Climate denial's internal contradictions spring from a need to defend economic doctrine

The one thing (not really exaggerating) that I liked from Kim Stanley Robinson’s otherwise meh 2012 book was the really pointed term “The Dithering” for this era.


Then see, UncleGeo is wrong, there is a new idea here. This paper isn’t actually itself about the motive for denial, but whether that manifests as stubborn adherence to an alternative, or just grabbing at whatever lets you dismiss the idea regardless of consistency. They give at least some examples of single authors offering incompatible statements, but in my experience reading or arguing with a denier it usually doesn’t take long to find them on your own.

Speaking of which…

If that’s really what you want, here you go. A glib “that’s ridiculous, something is wrong is a perfectly valid position” without any understanding that no, there should at least be some consistency on what that something is before it counts as a position at all.


I think this is why some seemingly intelligent people have the weirdest beliefs. They use up all their brainpower fiddling with arguments convoluted enough to satisfy their beliefs. And because they think what they’ve put together is logically consistent, rather than spaghetti interspersed with shoelaces and meal worms that wouldn’t fool anyone, they think they know the true facts.

ETA: @anon27007144 says about the same thing:



Nobody knows what caused the Bronze Age collapse and the Dark Dark Ages, okay?


Another groundbreaking study from the N. S. Sherlock institute.

I’ve seen a guy on this very page, in the same post, claim that he’s got a PhD so he knows what a p-value is, and go right back to imaginary appeals to authority without addressing my math, which, if you know what a p-value means, clearly demonstrated that what he was proposing had less than 1 chance in 50,000 of being correct.


It is fairly well documented that the descent into the dark ages was precipitated by the hare hostilities of 523.


Please remember how short and small the view of the average human is, now contribute unlimited access to profit designed by forebears with litigatory pathways controlled, codified, and defended, AND an elite few with access, albeit hampered by inbreeding and small focus, and tada, we have now.

Climate change presents a hampering of profits, people. That’s all, period.

Profits won’t be hampered willingly by the profiteers, people. It’s up to you/us. Stop buying their shit; cut into their profits. Profit isn’t everything.


I’m pretty sure that c. 3100 BP-2900 BP is before 1427 BP.

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I can’t quite figure out if it’s the dying backlash of a bygone era, a swinging back to an era we hoped was gone that will walk back so many of the social advances of our society, or something that is so deeply ingrained in our psyche/genes that we will not be rid of it anytime soon.

Ultra right policies have destroyed economic security and placed education out of reach for so many that fear (and its close friend anger) are running roughshod through the populace.

I think education and economic security (decent wages, healthcare, etc) are the only real cure for this virulent strain of aggressive ignorance.


You can rail all you want about the “economic doctrines” in play here, but time after time, climate change shows up very low on the ranking of voter concerns.

My (unsubstantiated by research) guess is that most of those voters consciously or unconsciously believe that the required level of reduction in GHG emissions will deal a major blow to their already scant disposable incomes. They like their transportation and utilities costs right where they are, and would prefer them even lower.

That’s an “economic doctrine” of a sort, but one that is not likely solvable by telling them to shut up and pay.

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It’s possible. The premise being that continuing to release the pollutants causing the problem would be the same as don’t change anything, rather than something much more costly still.

But it’s true that many very influential people have been peddling this lie, as well as making everything but seem more important. And even politicians who do see the need to do something about global warming often go for an appeasement approach, trying to sell the cheapest fixes rather than stressing the disastrous cost of making the externality-spewing economy the most important good. So it’s easy to see how many people forget that.

Of course, imagining anyone’s position as “shut up and pay” is enough of mischaracterization on is own that it alone makes it hard to tell if you actually care about this, or are just picking excuses for the economic doctrine voters are constantly sold.


But that “more costly still” doesn’t show up in anyone’s household budget - yet.

The American people in my observation want the world’s best health care, with no waiting and with access to every procedure, drug or therapy that’s been invented, but they balk at paying the required premiums.

The American people want a comfortable retirement, with the ability to maintain or even improve their standard of living, with longer lifespans and earlier retirement dates, but they balk at funding the accounts needed to maintain that result.

Likewise, the American people want cheap energy. They’re not interested in paying the long term costs. Any suggestion of such will be interpreted as “shut up and pay” regardless of what you or I think.

The one saving grace in this situation (as compared to the first two) is that there are possible solutions which can reduce the cost of energy as well as reducing CO2 emissions. And I am talking about “cost” in terms of more money left over in the bank account every month. We just need to get behind those solutions.


But then neither do the costs of reducing emissions. However, things like the unusually pronounced droughts in California and Syria are already harming people, and most estimates say that we already spend a lot of money mitigating the climate change thus far. If people can imagine the one cost rising, and not the other, that’s because of what they have learned to pay attention to.

Americans pay much more for health care than better systems. A large part of the reason is how many voters will object to ones that work better for less, because they’ve been repeatedly told the lie that they are made of communism and death panels. By people who profit off them or are trying to defend economic doctrine.

The same is true here. Sure, cheap access to transportation is important to have, and cheap fuel can be an aspect of that. It’s also important to have inexpensive food and water and housing, and ultimately health care and education. The country is not doing well on these things, and many voters plainly do not support measures to fix. That fuel alone is so often singled out in these discussions tells me it is about more economic doctrine than trying to protect pocket books.

Even the bit about long-term costs strikes me as odd framing. Do Americans care so much about their government spending vast sums on projects like that? It spent incalculable sums on the Iraq war to the detriment of just about everyone involved, and incalculable sums on bank bailouts in ways that barely benefited their victims. People who protested were limited to free-speech zones and marginalized in the public discourse as much as possible. If anything counts as “shut up and pay”, it should be funding those.

And yet I can’t recall hearing them described quite like that nearly as often, and it’s not the people trying to spare on taxes who were the main opponents. Somehow glib dismissals like “shut up and pay” instead are aimed more at groups like environmentalists, the ones struggling to have their urgent messages recognized in politics. So no, I don’t think that’s really a matter of people simply wanting to hold onto money.

If that’s how any such suggestion is interpreted in the case of preventing environmental damage, and not all the others where Americans pay ridiculous amounts for little good reason, it’s because of interests telling them to interpret it that way. So again, it really is based off economic doctrine. “Late stage capitalism.”


Isn’t it ad hominid?


Single payer healthcare would be cheaper in both absolute and relative terms for both the government and individuals than what we have right now.

The only reason people think otherwise is because the republican party consistently flat-out lies about verifiable facts, then when you point out they’re lying they start throwing tantrums and projecting. You can’t negotiate or work with people who aren’t willing to act like adults.


Normal scientific discourse involves “coherence” – that is, believing in something that doesn’t contradict itself.

Now I want an app to check coherence of an article. I bet this would save me from most click bait.


Would it give them the ability to call a neurologist and get an MRI scheduled every time they have a headache that persists for more than a few hours? I used to deal with Medicare patients who absolutely did this. Because they Paid Into the System, dammit.

You are confusing “health” with what “consumers believe they are entitled to”.

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Let me guess, they are against Obamacare cause it’s “SOCIALISM!!!”?

As for the climate change, I believe we as a species are doing the damage. But I also think technology could help solve it, but we have to be careful with that as well.


It is certainly cheaper, but that’s because it’s essentially a giant HMO that you can’t withdraw from. And when Americans actually came face-to-face HMOs and with the realities of what saving a heap of money required, they were outraged, and that was across the political spectrum.

As a Canadian, I’ll stand by our health system forever. But pretending there are no trade-offs is also a lie, and quite frankly, I think we’re better than having to descend to deception in order to promote our agenda.

The imperative is to make certain that every American has adequate healthcare. The fact that the cost of achieving this goal affordably means that better-off Americans will not save a whole lot (after all, they’ll be paying for those who can’t afford it) and will suffer a lot of visible losses (waiting lists, denial of expensive but not terribly effective care, loss of access to cutting edge techniques until the price comes down, far fewer tests “just to be sure”, etc.) and a tiny loss in actual effectual healthcare has to be accepted by the voting populace.

If it is not, then Americans are simply not ready for universal healthcare, and it’s your job as an American to persuade them that the costs are worth the benefits, not to hide the fact that there are costs.