Monday, October 1, 2012
I can understand why certain religious people deny evolution and such things as the age of the earth: it conflicts with their need for biblical literalism. And if it's hard to relate to those who claim inerrant word of god in that book, given its multiple self-contradictions, and given the fact that they ignore so many if its demands when it doesn't suit, at least there's consistency of blindness. (I'll give them a pass on not stoning their smart-mouth kids to death.)
Denial of anthropogenic climate change, on the other hand, is simply beyond any understanding at all. It has no religious predilection. To accept it as fact threatens nothing of religious belief (well, some claim god would never allow us to damage his favorite planet. But he's allowed a hell of a lot of mayhem, hasn't he?) Aside from the fact that it may well be literally killing us, there's a level on which it's absolutely fascinating: what is it about humans -- some humans, anyway -- that allows them to rationalize such denial? Where does it come from? Where's the benefit, in terms of survival of the species? How does the mind, which is pretty impressive on so many levels, exist with what seems so fundamental a flaw?
If we're creations of some sort of godly process, did he/she/it/they figure the only way to get people to believe in them was to make them gullible? Seems self-defeatingly paradoxical. Almost if the first premise is false. And, in the US, why is denialism exclusively confined to a particular (and major, as opposed to flat-earthers) political party? What causes that confluence? The fact of climate change is neither religious nor political. Solutions, maybe. But not the thing itself.
Why is it that climate denialism in particular, and science-rejection in general, seem both necessary and sufficient for today's version of Republicans? Gotta be the religionism, you'd think. Or is there something else? Something of right-wing mentation that attracts, or requires, both religious fundamentalism and rejectionism. If so, what could it be? I think about it a lot. And I feel that if I understood it, I'd have figured out everything there is to know about our current political stalemate.