Wrong! But, you could draw that conclusion from listening to nutty spokespersons for those people who have gone too far right to be correct. (Oh, excuse me. It isn’t nice to call anyone nutty. We who aren’t rightists must be especially nice to those who have always been Right!) The fact is, weather is relatively local, but climate is generalized from all local weather conditions over an area in question, up to including the whole world. Die-hard deniers do have one leg to stand on, on a narrow, crumbling ledge. There are such things as climate cycles. This allows them to complain that, though global warming may be happening, it isn’t permanent. It will recede and normalize in due course. Their fall-back position from this is: Okay, the globe’s climate really is warmer and may warm indefinitely into the future, but human behavior, such as carbon burning, has little or nothing to do with it compared to the immense effects of solar and volcanic activity.
Why do you suppose right-wing folks have such trouble accepting scientific findings? Maybe it’s because they see everything as if motivated by interest or ulterior motive. Possibly scientists don’t care about facts and cannot deal with us honestly. They join conspiracies to hide the truth and defraud us the way public-relations “hexperts,” political hacks and sales gangs do. Yes, maybe scientists bundle up false observations to sell to an unwary public like “complex financial instruments” on secondary markets.
It’s very hot today. A Tea Party acquaintance, neighbor of mine, came to the door this afternoon wearing tank top and tennis shorts, in a sweat from watering plants out on his rear deck. Stepping onto his front porch, he called to me over the fence about the heat, mentioning all the reports on cable about record temperatures across the whole country, Europe, Asia and Africa. I asked him if he thought they had anything to do with global warming. He follows Fox News & friends, and what I call “wingnut bloggers” who breathe each others’ exhaust to the point of echoing the same talking points from the well-paid geniuses of Misframe & Disinform. He was not willing to admit any connection between unusual heat waves and climate change. Bias triumphed over sensation and perception. I let him keep his disconnect. It felt like personal integrity to him. I doubt I could have swayed him from his narrow ledge. Anyway, he retreated into his air-conditioned living room and shut the door.
Is there a deeper description or source of the Republican ailment? Yes. Once poeple commit theselves to a heirarchy of values that puts status derived from money and property at the top, it’s as if there’s no truth or room for truth left but in what they already possess. The onus of ownership can be hard to perceive. You live in the shadow of your possessions and the penumbra of acquisitiveness. You live also in the vicarious shade of other’s status around you, especially if it ‘s higher than yours. You become, like vampires and albinos, unable to go out in daylight. Sunshine will do you more harm than you can willingly bear. Mundane fact becomes death to a sacred premise.
Oh, how the flack will follow me, a chaff of discontent from my friends in Shadowland who will deny, object and rail about my “socialist confusions,” anti-fascist as I am. But, you can’t slap ‘em silly. They’re already as silly as anyone can get [See Robert Parry’s article on John Kery’s great speech to the Senate on June 19th, 2012:]