Kentuckians out of touch with nature

Mark Cothren of Kentucky cannot recognize a raccoon with mange. This is noteworthy mainly because Texans can’t recognize a dog with mange, either.

It’s also noteworthy because it’s possible Mark Cothren is related to Martin Cothran, and there’s a new blogger at Martin Cothran’s blog. He signs off as “Thomas Cothran,” who is either an Oklahoman or a Tennesseean serving a 112 year sentence for vehicular manslaughter, or someone else entirely.

He asks: Is the Opposition to Climate Change Ecological or Technological?, and trips over himself right from the first sentence:

Let’s set aside the empirical question concerning climate change (i.e., is human activity causing dangerous weather patterns) for a moment and ask about what sort of politics under-girds the climate change movement.

I’d say it’s a politics that thinks setting aside empirical evidence is bad. As soon as you’re trying to divorce the politics of climate change from the causes, existence, and consequences of climate change, you’re not really talking about climate change.

The rest of the piece is sufficiently silly that I can’t rule out the chance that it’s a letter from prison by a trucker who got drunk on Old Milwaukee and then plowed his garbage truck into a minivan, killing 4 and severely injuring another 3 passengers.

He argues, for instance, that “climate change advocacy is, at bottom, anti-environmental.”

While you roll that self-contradiction around your mind, consider that he thinks environmental advocates are trying to “preserve technological society,” rather than destroy “a form of industrial capitalism set free from the natural limits of human needs.” Yes, the constant refrain of anti-environmentalists is that greens are too damn pragmatic. Our relationship to nature, Cothran explains, is “fundamentally violent,” and “climate change advocacy” (that is, activism opposed to climate change) wants to change none of that. This violent and excessive relationship is “sublated, concealed, made more sustainable” by environmental activists.

But wait, if it’s “more sustainable,” doesn’t that make it less “violent,” more attuned to natural limits, less of an “assault on the earth”? Isn’t that what “more sustainable” means?

Assuming Thomas and Martin share surnames for genealogical reasons, I’m left wondering if an inability to handle logic and the English language might well be genetic traits of the Cothran clan. Given Martin Cothran’s tendency to confuse weather and climate, and to mistake winter in England for evidence against global climate change, Thomas Cothran’s unwillingness even to engage with the evidence, and Mark Cothren’s inability to recognize a common local animal when it’s sitting dead and hairless on his front porch, I’d say that the Cothran/en clan of Appalachia should get back in touch with nature, not to mention reality.

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