I’m not sure how the conservatives got to be the party of “don’t spend your children’s money! No more social programs!” but at the same time “use up your children’s resources! Ignore any consequences of being wasteful!” Except there is a common thread – That Which Is In The Best Interest of Businesses. Right?
This week’s Takedown is a gem:
Before we talk about how ludicrous this is, I need to point out that flip-flopping, when it comes to science, is a good thing. That being willing to edit a hypothesis is what makes science so strong – adapting as more knowledge becomes available makes theories more precise and more likely to reflect reality. So the fact that climate change was once referred to as global warming is not an indication that the theory is weak, but instead, just the opposite.
Here’s the thing. I could point to study after study after study that shows that climate change is a problem, and an enormous one. I could show the overwhelming number of scientists who believe this is something we need to deal with. I could rely on data and facts to prove my points, but if somebody is posting this crapdate, they have no interest in facts, so instead, I’m going to implore to common sense.
There are two possible scenarios: in scenario A, liberals and scientists have manufactured a crisis and used it to justify their love of regulations and further their own power, while conservatives and businesspeople are leading a charge of truth. In scenario B, climate change is real and terrifying, and there are people who are denying it for their own best interests.
Which scenario is more likely? Which scenario makes even a shred of sense?
It’s true that crises help politicians. It would be feasible to say that liberals have overblown the problem because that helps them to get elected and maintain high popularity levels. But why would scientists join in? What do they have to gain from saying that climate change is a real and serious problem? Maybe grant money, but that would only apply to a small fraction of scientists who are studying this problem, and even so, money-hungry scientists would have more of an interest in denying it, because there’s a lot of money out there for scientists who will say that businesses should be able to work without regulations.
So scenario A fails. If it were just liberals talking about climate change, and scientists were split, it would be possible. But the fact that so many knowledgeable people believe in climate change with no motive other than, it seems, the advancement of knowledge, means that it isn’t likely.
Scenario B: Conservatives are speaking the truth about a manufactured problem, and businesspeople back them up. Business people have an obvious vested interest in climate change being a hoax, because that means they don’t have to change their business models to stop destroying the planet; climate change costs them a lot of money. But what about politicians? Politicians do well in times of crisis, so it doesn’t make sense for them to deny the problem.
Until we remember that conservatives get the majority of their funding from big business. Politicians do well in a crisis, but they also do extremely well with full pockets.
If it were just liberals against conservatives, I could believe (or at least understand) a conspiracy theory. But it’s not. It’s scientists versus businesspeople, and one of those groups has an enormous amount of money to lose if climate change is real. And those are the people who are shouting that it is not.
You never know who to trust when it comes to politics, and it’s smart to approach everything with a cynical mindset. However, this is one of those times when the conspiracy theory just makes no sense. None. If you don’t trust the science, think critically and trust yourself.