26 February 2017

Why Are We Losing the Climate Change Battle?

We've spent this weekend with a wonderful new climate change activist friend who's collaborating on a writing project with my hubby. It's such a comfortable treat to spend time with a like-hearted soul.

One of the questions all three of us have been asking ourselves lately is how it is we've come this far and the deniers are still winning. In an email I received recently, Avaaz put it this way: "Just as we thought that crazy climate deniers were fading into history, they're back, with their hands on the levers of power in the country that emits 14% of the world’s carbon!"

Three answers to why this is so came my way yesterday. 

1. Canadian blogger Rolly Montpellier wrote: "Claiming that we can take effective action on climate change and ramp-up fossil fuel production at the same time is delusional. But for the most part [our prime minister Justin] Trudeau has been able to convince Canadians that this is a wise and a prudent course for Canada to pursue. He has lulled his followers into a deep sleep while climate change makes its ugly consequences felt around the globe."

According to science historian, Naomi Oreskes, "a new form of climate denialism is at work … one meant to persuade the public that fossil fuels are necessary and renewables unreliable…. Alternatives to fossil fuels are disparaged by a new generation of myths."

Rolly continues: "Trudeau is an artful practitioner of public messaging intended for mass consumption by a receptive but naive Canadian public. We Canadians want to believe that we are acting quickly on the climate problem. But we are not. So if you think that climate deniers are finally irrelevant, then think again. Deniers have found more creative and sneaky ways to support the strong interests of the fossil fuel industry. It would be dangerous to imagine that the era of climate denialism is over. Because, it’s simply not so!"

2. My response to Rolly's post helped me realize what we're up against: "We are going to extinguish most life on this precious planet because of a failure of imagination. Besides all the small addictions (alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, cleaning) we suffer from as individuals, there is just one big culture-wide (and increasingly globalized) addiction that is killing us: money. The reason money is winning out over life itself is that people don't have (or aren't using) the creativity to imagine a world powered differently. So they fall back to the 20th century default ... money, profit, greed and fossil fuels."

3. The other answer came from an article in a(nother) new rightwing, depressive (is that the opposite of progressive?) online rag (the quote is so, um, stupid, that I can't even share it here), which showed that "the other side" is still quoting denying dorks with no credentials, trotting out years-old denial bullsh!t, slinging insults without apology, stating misfacts without flinching, and uttering nonsense without the slightest hint of embarrassment. And they somehow always out-time us, psychologically projecting by calling us the names we ought to have called them. But as usual, our side is too nice (after all, we're the ones who care about the climate change emergency), so they get away with it. 

And if you want a free trip into the Twilight Zone, just visit the comments section. You will read (if you can stomach it) the most illogical, irrational, unreasonable, unsound, groundless, incorrect, fallacious, preposterous, specious and disingenuous arguments ever presented on any topic, I'm sure. Yet it would take you a day or two to counter all their lies and mistakes and non sequiturs, so you won't do it. (The last time I tried, I was hung out to dry in a local newspaper so I don't blame you for not even attempting to set the other side straight.)

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that climate change deniers don't follow any rules, respect any rules, have any rules. They literally say whatever they want, even if it's totally cracked or untrue or irrelevant or debunked. The truth does not matter to them. They don't care enough about their children to check out what the current state of climate change is. They're too stupid or un(der)educated to realize that they're applying no critical thought to what they're (poorly paraphrasing from some denier website somewhere and) spewing.  

I feel for these people. I really do. But how can we possibly counter their deceit, their greed and their nonsensical rubbish when they're a moving target and our feet are stuck in the truth? My brain wants to explode just thinking about it.

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?