NYT: Climate Deniers are Depraved and Corrupt

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Marc Morano – NYT columnist Paul Krugman believes climate “deniers” are depraved and corrupt, because he read a book written by Michael “Hide the Decline” Mann.

The Depravity of Climate-Change Denial

Risking civilization for profit, ideology and ego.

By Paul Krugman
Opinion Columnist
Nov. 26, 2018

Wait, isn’t depravity too strong a term? Aren’t people allowed to disagree with conventional wisdom, even if that wisdom is supported by overwhelming scientific consensus?

Yes, they are — as long as their arguments are made in good faith. But there are almost no good-faith climate-change deniers. And denying science for profit, political advantage or ego satisfaction is not O.K.; when failure to act on the science may have terrible consequences, denial is, as I said, depraved.

The best recent book I’ve read on all this is “The Madhouse Effect” by Michael E. Mann, a leading climate scientist, with cartoons by Tom Toles. As Mann explains, climate denial actually follows in the footsteps of earlier science denial, beginning with the long campaign by tobacco companies to confuse the public about the dangers of smoking.

The shocking truth is that by the 1950s, these companies already knew that smoking caused lung cancer; but they spent large sums propping up the appearance that there was a real controversy about this link. In other words, they were aware that their product was killing people, but they tried to keep the public from understanding this fact so they could keep earning profits. That qualifies as depravity, doesn’t it?

Why would anyone go along with such things? Money is still the main answer: Almost all prominent climate deniers are on the fossil-fuel take. However, ideology is also a factor: If you take environmental issues seriously, you are led to the need for government regulation of some kind, so rigid free-market ideologues don’t want to believe that environmental concerns are real (although apparently forcing consumers to subsidize coal is fine).

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/26/opinion/climate-change-denial-republican.html

Al Gore assured us a few weeks ago that wind turbines and solar panels are now cheaper than coal, so its a bit of a mystery why Krugman believes government regulation is required to force businesses to embrace the cheaper option.

via Watts Up With That?

https://ift.tt/2TRiq76

November 27, 2018 at 08:04AM

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