How could it be that so many Republicans view global warming as a problem, but so few on the right are pressuring the government to take action to address it? – Robb Willer, Contributor to The New York Times
via Increasing Moral Engagement on Climate Change | ecoAffect.
The “gap” is actually believing it. As in, if you BELIEVE something, you SHOW IT. You actually act as if you think it’s a problem; that it has importance. These people who oppose ACTION on it are simply hypocrites. It’s a “problem”, but they give priority to the status quo. So they REALLY don’t believe what they are saying, if they say the “BELIEVE” its a problem.
Like Naomi Klein points out in This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate, it’s an economic fight to the death. Hopefully, for the sake of us all, people wise up and recognize that we won’t have an economy to speak of if we continue down this road. And as Paul Gilding explains in The Great Disruption, the sheer scale of the problems we face will become so obvious and so prevalent that we WILL be forced to reckon with what we have done and respond. Hopefully, we do this sooner rather than later, for the longer we delay RADICAL action, the more we invite the worst case scenarios to play out. The sooner we act with conviction and determination, the fewer of the worse case scenarios will hit us full force.
Economics have always driven this. Even in the not too distant past, Republicans were not adverse to expressing their agreement with the climate sciences. When the urgency did not seem so great; when we , so to speak, “had some time” to react (and did not act), the things required of us (to begin to change our direction) were less fundamentally challenging to our economic paradigm. We could have responded and let markets work on what everyone agreed was the direction we should take. We could have begun to remove subsidies to oil and coal and encourage the alternatives. But the “age of exuberance”* was too much for us. It continued to feed us with delusions of unlimited growth.
(* the age of exuberance is a phrase from William Catton’s great book “Overshoot”)
We’ve essentially thrown way our opportunity to “turn our economy around” and face the right direction. We still need to “face the right direction”, but the distance we now need to move, and the speed in which we need to do it, is a lot more daunting. And to the Capitalist fundamentalists, this is too much to ask, and so the rejection grows into denial. It’s now unacceptable to even acknowledge our problem. And so we have a rush to the cliff.
What we must do now, if we are to have any hope of adapting, is to let the economic realities sink in, so that we can see the limits (and that they are far behind us), and reorient ourselves to the new world. EAARTH, as BIll McKibben spells it, to emphasize how the earth we now live on is different from the one on which humans expanded and multiplied; the one that gave life to us and supported our life and survival. It is we who have to adapt to the ecosystem, as we are WITHIN it and dependent on it. Not the other way around.