by James Wallace Harris, Thursday, February 26, 2015
Conservatives deny climate change because they are savvy enough to understand what it takes to stop climate change, either intuitively, or with calculated conscious awareness. The only way to stop climate change is end business as usual, kill off marketplace capitalism, create a super-big federal government, increase taxes like crazy, and probably introduce the beginnings of a world government. Fixing climate change is their worst nightmare.
To solve climate change will mean giving up oil, gas and coal as cheap forms of energy. To solve climate change will require designing a steady-state economy that isn’t based on a cancerous consumption of the Earth. Industries depending on building cheap products in poor countries and selling them halfway around the world to more prosperous countries will have to stop. Such a steady state economy would probably put half of the population out of work, requiring a massive socialized form of government. To stop coal, oil and gas usage, and curtail other forms of greenhouse gases from being created, heavy carbon taxes will have to be rolled out. Trillions and trillions of dollars worth of extractive ores, minerals and gases will need to be left in the ground. People will have to stop living in mansions, driving SUVs, and developing every last acre of nature.
Is it any wonder conservatives deny climate change? It’s much easier to promote business as usual and pretend the bill for economic collapse will be delivered to a future generation. Maybe they imagine after we kill off all life on Earth except humans, rats and cockroaches, after we destroy the atmosphere and ocean, we can just live on this planet in space suits, like we would have to on Mars. Some even talk about blasting off to outer space when Earth is used up. Of course, they always imagine they will be among the few to get a berth in one of those rare lifeboat rocketships.
Are liberals any more realistic? Can we build a society where everyone has a little house powered by sun and wind, with lawns made up of indigenous climate friendly plants and trees. Can we switch from packaged food to growing our own fruits and veggies or buying from local farmers. Can we build and decorate houses with renewable building materials? And work at nearby creative jobs that don’t hurt the environment, and commute to those jobs in small electric cars or bicycles? Are our egalitarian ecological fantasy lives their nightmare too? Is it any wonder that Republicans embrace climate change denial. They fear the future just as much as liberals, but their nightmare is different. Their whole way of life will be destroyed, just like Comanches and Apaches in the 19th century. They don’t want to move to the liberal reservation.