Peak indifference has arrived: a majority of Republicans say climate change is real


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/30/nihilism-v-indifference.html


#2

Yeah. . . I stopped believing in nihilism when I was a teenager.


#3

It never stopped believing in you.


#4

Yeah but, “Shit Happens” doesn’t solve anything.


#5

Al Gore touched on this in An Inconvenient Truth. A lot of (mostly conservative) people jump straight from “the problem isn’t real” to “the problem is so serious that our actions won’t make any difference anyway.”

It’s kind of a bipolar approach to justifying inaction.


#6

But peak indifference doesn’t necessarily mean action. It can mean nihilism.

But the administration did not offer this dire forecast, premised on the idea that the world will fail to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, as part of an argument to combat climate change. Just the opposite: The analysis assumes the planet’s fate is already sealed.


#7

“In all scenarios we’re going to have to suck CO2 from the air anyway, so why worry about emissions now?”

(The answer is, because there’s a big difference between being able to do carbon dioxide removal conceptually, and being able to do it at the scale and with the speed needed to avoid disaster. We still have choices, and we can still choose the best available option, even with the losses that entails, over the worst, and the worst is so very bad.)


#8

What matters to the deniers is that they they don’t have to do anything. If the argument is “global warming is a hoax” or “it’s too late to stop it” doesn’t matter. You can see this clearly on denier blogs where they gladly publish a dozen contradictory theories on why AGW isn’t real and the audience support them all.


#9

I had a brief conversation with an Evangelical once about climate change, which conveyed a similar, but not entirely nihilistic belief. His statement was, “If God doesn’t want us to live on this planet any more, then so be it.” Which combines apocalyptic indifference, humanity’s impotence, and disbelief in science. I think most people would be vehemently against a power plant dumping waste into their river, because they can see the waste and easily envision the effects. Climate change is much easier to shoot down as “I don’t believe it” or “Fuck it, we’re screwed (or saved by divine intervention or heaven) anyways.”


#10

In a discussion with my Trumpist brother-in-law a couple years ago, he stated bluntly and with no shame that the whole goal of the conservative movement has not so much to do with the facts or lack thereof regarding climate change, but that if it became widely accepted the government would try to intervene, and that cannot be allowed regardless of the consequences. He apparently took my gob-smacked expression as disapproval and stopped talking at that point, but it made sense when I thought it through. In either case, whether it is not real or is no longer amenable to intervention, there is no need for the government to do anything. That is the goal, in the end.


#11


#12

The GOP motto since at least the Reagan administration seems to be “the government can’t be trusted to do anything for the collective good. Elect us and we’ll prove it.”


#13

God must be pretty tired of being blamed for all human shortcomings by now.


#14

Sounds exhausting


#15

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then they ignore you again.”


#16

Previously:


#17

Republicans are still apt to deny the seriousness of climate change, and, to a lesser extent, whether it is caused by human activity. That will change, given enough time

and there lies the crux; we dont have any fucking time left! it is essential, that these people have to understand that we are responsible, not some “yet unknown natural cause” or whatever.

also:

the NYT-article is quite depressing, but a must-read.


#18

My right wing aunt now claims that there is no policy difference between Republicans and Democrats on climate. She claims that the reason we haven’t done whatever the grand Republican plan to avoid climate change is because the Democrats refuse to implement Republican ideas.


#19

Sounds like denihilism.


#20

whoa. That’s hardcore!