The main thing is they are in absolute, abject and catastrophic denial about a straightforward set of facts that is probably the most important set of facts we face as a nation, and as human beings on planet earth. They have turned their faces away from climate change in a way that is simply and utterly unforgivable. They now apparently DO feel entitled to their own facts, and they live, campaign and purportedly do their jobs in a zone of outright lies. Lies they have every reason to understand are lies, and lies that will almost certainly result in massive destruction and death. Exactly how would you be "fair" to these people? -- Tom Toles
Which brings to mind Ed Brayton's quotation from Isaac Asimov:
"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Right now the Philippines is going through significant population growth, and its government is debating measures that would provide wider access to contraceptives. By this is meant condoms and pills, abortion being off the table entirely.
On one side are the realists, on the other side is the Vatican and its adherents.
Fair = the world tells the Philippines that no food or other aid will be forthcoming if they overpopulate themselves to the point of starving.
Then let them do as they choose and live with the consequences. If the consequences are hunger and disease and crime etc., too bad, they made their choice and took their chances.
The problem with climate change is that there is no "outside" or "elsewhere."
In the big-picture scheme of things, "fair" = if humans trash the planet and crash thee ecosystems on which we depend, we get to pay the price in terms of mass dieoffs and regression to a caveman existence.
Somewhere in a star system far away, where an advanced civilization has solved its own sustainability problems and spread into space, astronomers will note the outcome from its observable signs, and write off Earth as having failed the test of natural selection on the cosmic scale. Earth will have become a Cosmic Dodo and a footnote in the history of the galaxy.
The turning points and tipping points are occurring as we sit here and read this.
The question is how far we're willing to go to prevent an outcome in which human extinction is a very real probability.
Are we willing to vote? Willing to fight? Willing to curb the twin profligacies of unfettered reproduction and consumption? Willing to demand female equality worldwide, which by itself will reduce the birth rate almost to a sustainable level (the rest of the distance being covered by incentives for family planning)? Willing to speak truth to power and tell the various Popes and Mullahs to shut up and sit down? Willing to go to war, including against our own domestic kleptocracies that promote denialism?
Pretend you're a human alive 1000 years from now, looking back. What would you wish that your ancestors had done?
"In the big-picture scheme of things, "fair" = if humans trash the planet and crash thee ecosystems on which we depend, we get to pay the price in terms of mass dieoffs and regression to a caveman existence."
But in that case, "fair" would have to require that those who deny the problem have to live with it when the ones trying to change and avoid the problem get to live on another earth that isn't a slop bucket.
Although I'd like to get off, there's nowhere to go.
Nothing natural is "manicured". It's your choice, or at least the result of decisions you'd otherwise claim to have made. You're describing your normative existence, nothing more, nothing less. If you thought of yourself as an aspect of history you might ask how your social life became so denuded of variety; bounded by preconceptions -by others' ideas rather than by your own experience. It originates in a phobia of subjectivity I guess..
Wow, read between the lines.
Let me spell it out for you just a little more:
If someone was coming to your house to suffocate your child to death, what would you do about that?
And what would you do about it if there was no way for the police to get there in time to prevent the intruder from suffocating your kid to death?
The denialists are effectively trying their hardest to suffocate all of us and all of our children to death. And it appears the police won't get here in time to stop them.
Now fill in the blanks. And do what you have to do to protect yourself and your kids.
> If someone was coming to your house to suffocate your child to death, what would you do about that?
Wonder where the kid came from?
"fair" would be: they can suffocate themselves all they want, just don't suffocate anyone else.
This is why "murder" is against the law but "suicide" isn't.
For AGW denialists, "fair" would be, they get to screw up their planet believing themselves safe in God's hands, whilst the sane majority are safe. Since we only have the one atmosphere per planet, this would mean a separate planet for the denialists (after all, it's not fair to move the majority because the minority are nuts).
Now, as far as reactions to denialist insanity, they ARE, very literally, playing with your child's life.
This is why it is not only fair, but also absolutely reasonable, for people who love their children more than they love their money to get REALLY emotional at the continued idiocy of the denialists.
Should we shoot them for it?
What we SHOULD do is ignore them.
Except the denialists are highly motivated and politicians are either motivated to impose their ideals on others (therefore more likely to be in denial), rich (therefore affected by the cost of mitigation of AGW but not the consequences of inaction), connected to the rich (ditto), or just craven (E.g. Barack Obama) and therefore swayed by the most violently loud (the denialists).
What we should do is ignore the lunatic fringe. That they will benefit from a healthier planet is annoying since they didn't do anything toward it), but as long as I'm healthy and your children are healthy, I'm not that worried that they are.
Even if a bloody good kick up the arse is what they need.