Tom Flanagan will carry the Wildrose banner in the next provincial election, running alongside his leader, fellow climate change sceptic Danielle Smith. For a province fighting an intense public relations war over its emissions, having a upstart party riddled with global warming deniers doesn't exactly project a flattering image. Polls suggest Wildrose is at least poised to become the official opposition in Alberta, perhaps challenge the current government. Flanagan believes global warming is a "non problem", Smith thinks we all need to keep an open mind, remain "neutral" while the "robust debate" within the scientific community evolves, this party has become a haven for global warming deniers. How can emissions be taken seriously, if people actually believe there is no problem, concern is bunk?
On the federal scene, Harper uses political correct language now, but we should all remain suspicious. As well, Harper seems to have a penchant for appointing deniers to the Senate, just a random coincidence I'm sure, for a media that refuses to challenge beyond appeasing language. Move to the "grassroots" and you see deniers everywhere, if you challenge global warming, massive odds are come from the right of the spectrum, ditto down south, the correlation is incredibly strong and persistent. Why? Why would a particular perspective on science line up so neatly with political expression?
The right wing tends to support the idea of natural resource exploitation, whereas the traditional left tends to highlight environmental concerns. Part of the denier bent is tied to economic outlook, a natural resistance to anything presented which could curtail free activity. Somehow science has become a partisan consideration, rather than evidence based perspectives, apparently everyone has an angle they are trying to shove down our throats. Never mind that 98% of climate scientists see NO DEBATE, there is a heated debate, sound arguments irrelevant, all that is needed is incoherent counters, providing a warm cocoon for like-minded people.
In many respects the global warming debate has moved from physical science to human psychology, within that discussion at least something constructive. The real debate centers around the right wing and their hostility to objective science, as though a conspiracy created by enemy forces. That's the mentality, this bizarre paranoia that some untrustworthy entity is trying to trick the populous, as part of a deeper philosophical threat. Read the right wing blogs, read the commentary, listen to the code language, it's a freakish reality out there, almost chilling in its reaffirming bubble of denial, there is NOTHING you can present to dissuade, NOTHING. Wingers love to mock the global warming "religion", but really that is projection, their rigidity in the face of scientific retort offers an almost fanatical belief, incapable of incorporating new information, steadfast and stubborn.
Borrowing a John Stuart Mill quote, "conservatives are not necessarily deniers, but most deniers are conservatives". You could also use the real JSM quote, but then you consider that incredibly intelligent people like Flanagan have also joined the cause, and you are left with such a head scratching reality, you realize there is a deeper bias than simple ignorance. Danielle Smith's disarming smile doesn't distract from a dangerous reality, people ascending to positions of power with no grounding in the reality based community, should concern us all. That the global warming debate seems to have fragmented along partisan lines is an alarming development, because now science is just another human actor, it's relevance outside of personal slant in question, an amazing devolution.
Strange days indeed.