Saturday, May 11, 2013

Here's the problem with global warming.

Look at it from the point of view of the many voters who identify themselves as conservative, or as independents who lean conservative.

They've got enough problems without global warming sticking its big nose into their business. If man-caused global warming is true, than for sure it's inconvenient as all get out.

If it's true, then doing nothing about it robs our children & theirs of far more than any budget deficit does.

If it's true, then doing something about it when third world countries don't feels unfair, even though our contribution per capita is higher than theirs--though to be sure China is passing us in total emissions, and they've got the smog-choked cities to prove it.

Their public schooling taught them facts but not how to think about facts systematically and empirically. So they generally rely on getting their conclusions from people they trust--pastors and politicians who look like them and sound like them
The voters I'm talking about are, for the most part, honest and responsible themselves. But they're susceptible to being deceived by politicians who tell them they share their values.

And these voters have been massively propagandized by the best in the biz, who work for companies that make bigger profits than many countries and want to keep it that way. Of course conservative voters don't hear it from these companies but through their sock puppets--mostly GOP politicians and conservative commentators.

This campaign has been so effective that most conservative voters believe the fact of dangerous human-caused global warming isn't settled science--that it's a controversial topic among climate experts.

This is exactly as true as the "fact" that cancer researchers were unsure about whether cigarettes cause cancer in, say, 1990.

Propaganda can't make people believe what they don't want to believe, but it's great at getting people to believe what they do want to believe.

Especially when this propaganda campaign has also taught them that everyone who accepts global warming belongs to an enemy tribe.

Even those on comment threads who are astroturfing (i.e. doing this for money) are useful at least in showing us the kind of propaganda that has worked so well on conservative voters--the cherrypicked facts, the biased interpretations, and demonizing of scientists and environmentalists.

People who understand human nature and have disengaged their moral compass are really dangerous.

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