Not just having bad ideas, but because of deliberate ignorance despite overwhelming evidence, necessarily bad people

I’m afraid I need to agree with Krugman’s conclusion:

While Donald Trump is a prime example of the depravity of climate denial, this is an issue on which his whole party went over to the dark side years ago. Republicans don’t just have bad ideas; at this point, they are, necessarily, bad people.

There can be no excusing a systematic denial of reality, or of our single best means of understanding it, Science, no matter what the perceived economic consequences.

Understand, of course, I have no uncritical love for Democrats either, because they are not actual climate champions, and because they have simply assumed climate hawks, like myself, have no other choice than to support them, given the travesty that’s the Republican Party. Even Senator Elizabeth Warren supports paying people to live in high risk coastal areas and opposes properly assessing risk of re-flooding and damage.

Am I supposed to support her?

This is called denial. It’s a psychological condition.

And a providential warning …

Update, 2018-11-27

More reaction from Climate Denial Crock of the Week.

Tamino weighs in as well.

About ecoquant

See Retired data scientist and statistician. Now working projects in quantitative ecology and, specifically, phenology of Bryophyta and technical methods for their study.
This entry was posted in American Association for the Advancement of Science, an ignorant American public, an uncaring American public, Anthropocene, anti-science, Carl Sagan, climate, climate change, climate disruption, global warming, Hyper Anthropocene. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Not just having bad ideas, but because of deliberate ignorance despite overwhelming evidence, necessarily bad people

  1. Greg Robie says:

    Motivated reasoning, the neurological adaptation to consciousness that has allowed our species to evolve, allows us to trust irrationality as though it is reasoned. In an emotional sense such an irrational process leads to evil, which, as a semordnilap, is instructive: to be evil is to irresponsibly live backwards. Such irresponsibility is systemic within GREED-as-go[]d’s CapitalismFail’s limited liability law enabled ‘free’ markets. And this has lead to the creation of our unconstitutional debt-based federal reserve note. As it has become the global reserve currency of an ungovernable economic meme we have entered a time of systemic sovereigntyLOST.

    But such is simpler than living responsibly.

    I cross-posted the link to Carl Sagan’s talk and the myth of Cassandra. As a metaphors it brilliantly tells a story of why all human societies collapse, and why this one is collapsing globally: we are spellbound by Apollo and don’t believe his prophets!

    Motivated reasoning functions psychologically and sociologically as both savior and sycophant. Apollo, as the go[]d responsible for prophecy, can, when rejected, make rationality unhearable. The complexity of our trusted globalized meme, and the comfort it has afforded a relative few, in conjunction with an irrational belief that such an elite privilege can be democratized without commensurate responsibility, means that what feels good evolves to affect its opposite.

    To the degree that physics defines knowledge as action, the generational process by which we have individualized our psyche and socially enmeshed ourselves in evil as good-backwards, history suggests evil becomes systemic and life effects a the inevitable system reboot. Or at least the quarter century plus of perfect failure I’ve enjoyed indicates this to be true. So metanoia happens … either as a choice or a dictum. Isn’t humanity’s remaining choice of whether such metanoia is violently, or nonviolently, god-like; our go[]d-like?


    [snip: edited by Moderator]

    • ecoquant says:

      What’s striking about the system you sketch is that, as a means of running a society, it has severe limitations. For example, it does not deal properly with situations or environments where there are lags to consequences of actions, whether good or ill. The lack of an ability to anticipate means that moderation is seen as wisdom, for only with moderation are perturbations small enough that they don’t get out of hand, even if the perturbations do lag action.

      Of course, there’s nothing moderate about our present behavior. The self-referential assessment where we continue to emit and pollute until something bad connected to it happens to teach us it wasn’t a good idea lacks any scientific context. That context would show starkly that not only are concentrations of CO2 higher than in a long time, the paleoclimate record shows that seldom in Earth’s history has CO2 been dumped into atmosphere so rapidly. Appreciating such a contexting might in itself give pause to actions, for it suggests we are stepping out onto a new limb, and we don’t have any idea how sturdy said limb is.

      • Greg Robie says:

        Regarding that limb, a story … about a birch tree. A customer had this birch tree with a damaged top from an ice storm and was leaning significantly. It could not be feld directly due to things it would hit if cut at its base, but the top could be cut and would drop safely beneath it. So I placed my ladder against the trunk where it was mostly horizontal and cut the top beyond the place wher the ladder was set (no dummy am I!). But Robert Frost’s poem about bent birches should have been a warning. With thee top dropped the birch sprung and me, the chainsaw, and my ladder were supported by nothing but air … about 15′ of it.

        The lag in climate system you reference is not unlike the memory in the bent trunk of the birch. Once the perturbations we’ve passes our adult life gleefully and irresponsibly producing, which effects the topping of our bent tree of life a couple of generations before we experience it, the spring of abrupt climate change will belatedly educate us child-like [in our irresponsibility] climbers of birches.

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