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Left, Center and Right, We're All in Denial About Climate Change
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The political left, center and right do share something in common in today’s polarized America: We’re all in denial.

The first step in 12-step programs is to admit that you have a problem; you can’t tackle a challenge whose existence you refuse to acknowledge. “From a psychoanalytical viewpoint, denial is a pathological, ineffective defense mechanism,” doctors M.S. Vos and J.C. de Haes observed in their 2006 study of cancer patients. A stunning 47% of the patients they polled denied that they had cancer! Denial reduced their chances of seeking treatment and then following through.

“On the other hand,” Vos and de Haes observed, “according to the stress and coping model, denial can be seen as an adaptive strategy to protect against overwhelming events and feelings.” Denial lets you feel better.

We think of climate change denial as a right-wing phenomenon. Indeed, only 56% of Republicans accept the scientific consensus that the Earth is heating up. Fewer still believe that humans are responsible, compared to the 92% of Democrats who agree with scientists.

Those who deny that climate change is real are engaging in what psychologists call “simple denial.” But those on the left aren’t much better. Liberals who think global warming is real often resort to “transference denial”: They blame the right and corporate polluters even though we’re all responsible. The scale of the climate crisis and the level of sacrifice and disruption that would be necessary to mitigate it feels overwhelming. A widely reported analysis predicted that human civilization will collapse in 30 years. Others say it’s already too late to save ourselves.

“We’re doomed,” predicts Mayer Hillman, a senior fellow emeritus at the University of Westminster’s Policy Studies Institute. “The outcome is death, and it’s the end of most life on the planet because we’re so dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. There are no means of reversing the process which is melting the polar ice caps. And very few appear to be prepared to say so.”

He’s probably right.

Bernie Sanders recently proposed the most ambitious assault on greenhouse gas emissions ever floated in U.S. politics, a $16.3 trillion plan to transition out of carbon-based fuels by 2050. By that time, though, we’ll be dead.

As aggressive as Sanders’ plan is, it doesn’t go nearly far enough or fast enough. Yet Republicans and some Democrats say it’s too expensive. No one in corporate media is taking Sanders’ idea seriously. It’s stillborn.

Liberals post their concern to social media. Some even attend protest marches. But they’re hardly acting like we face an existential crisis.

The 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg told world leaders: “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day, and then I want you to act.”

Panic? Our “leaders” don’t give a crap. They’re too bought and too stupid to act.

ORDER IT NOW

The bird population in the U.S. has collapsed by 29% — a total of 2.9 billion fewer birds — over the last 50 years. During that same period, we lost half the world’s fish. Insects are on the way out, too. “No insects equals no food, (which) equals no people,” says Dino Martins, an entomologist at Kenya’s Mpala Research Centre.

None of this should come as a surprise. We were warned. “The oceans are in danger of dying,” Jacques Cousteau said in 1970. Life in the oceans had diminished by 40% in the previous 20 years.

If you really believe the planet is becoming uninhabitable, if you think you are about to die, you don’t march peacefully through the streets holding signs and chanting slogans begging the corrupt scoundrels who haven’t done a thing for decades to wake up and do something. You identify the politicians and corporate leaders who are killing us, you track them down, and you use whatever force is necessary to make them stop. Nothing less than regime change stands a chance of doing the job.

Nothing else — the struggle for income equality, gun control, abortion — matters as much as attacking pollution and climate change.

Anything short of revolution and the abolition of consumer capitalism is “minimizational denial”: admitting the problem while downplaying its severity. Anything short of a radical retooling of the global political system that establishes state control of the economy with environmental impact as our first, second and third priorities is a waste of time that dooms the human race to extinction.

There is no middle ground, no splitting the difference, no compromise. “Good enough” isn’t good enough. Mere progress won’t cut it. Human survival is a pass-fail class.

Time to get serious, goddamn it.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Global Warming 
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  1. Yeah, I’m going to listen to a cartoonist.

    For your information, whatever climate problems there are are caused by ozone holes. Big ones and lots of them. And they are not caused by carbon dioxide. They are caused by atmospheric nuclear testing. You heard it first here.

  2. Possumman says:

    Ted thinks the earth will end in 30 years–since he is 55 or so he may not be around when that doesn’t happen.

  3. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    Before the pottymouths seize the thread, I have some questions for the author.

    1. “Anything short of a radical retooling of the global political system that establishes state control of the economy with environmental impact as our first, second and third priorities is a waste of time that dooms the human race to extinction.” Would this require a single, global system/state? If so, what form would this system/state be, in order to prevent its control by those presently in authority whom you believe to have failed?

    2. If you are not a qualified scientist in your own right, what published authorities convinced you, and what is the most authoritative work with a different conclusion that you read before reaching your conclusions?

    Thank you.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  4. anon[115] • Disclaimer says:

    1. Medieval Warm Period.
    2. ClimateGate 1.0
    3. ClimateGate 2.0

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  5. The Maldives and Kiribati are still with us.

    The Dutch meteorological office lists it’s main concerns in order as:
    Natural wave height variability,
    Storm surges (no sign of more frequent or intense storms in last 100 years. 1953 was bad).
    Sea level rise 1.8 mm/year as since end of ice age.
    Land subsidence.

    As the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska melts, it reveals trees that were under the ice for centuries (it is not the only case). The Little Ice Age peaked in about 1750. Perhaps we are still recovering?

    A melting glacier in the Alps exposed the body of Otsi, who took shelter there in the Mesolithic before the ice came.

    James Hansen’s scenario B CO2 levels produced scenario C warming at best. All the models overpredict warming because they are designed to do so.

    We can be prudent. We can Electrify and switch to nuclear generation. We absolutely should not extract Carbon and bury it in basalt. Plant productivity is extremely low by geological standards due to lack of CO2. Greenhouse operators increase CO2 levels.

    Ordinary citizens are being bamboozled by activists.

  6. @anon

    Climategate 2.0? Tell me more.

    • Replies: @anon
  7. “Anything short of a radical retooling of the global political system that establishes state control of the economy with environmental impact as our first, second and third priorities is a waste of time that dooms the human race to extinction.”

    Well then, “prevent human extinction” could be no higher than fourth priority. So just hand out suicide pills to everybody. That solves priorities one thru three.

  8. I strongly suspect that Ted Rall has favored “a radical retooling of the global political system that establishes state control of the economy” all of his adult life, simply for its own sake, regardless of the ostensible goal.

    • Replies: @Bragadocious
  9. SteveK9 says:

    The problem here is anti-Science elements on both the left and the right. The right have many climate change deniers, and the left have anti-nukes, which blocks the only effective solution.

    Climate change is considered indisputable by the Science Academies of 34 developed nations. What is not as clear is the time-frame, and balance of good and bad effects. For those who think there are no good effects, they haven’t considered the two largest countries on Earth, Russia and Canada, which will both benefit greatly by global warming. Another likely good aspect is CO2 fertilization of crops (and all other plant life on the planet).

    If we are concerned about CO2 levels (and there is no need to panic, sorry Greta), then the solution is obvious and has been in front of us for decades … nuclear power. Nuclear power generates no CO2 and in fact, no uncontrolled waste at all. In the past there was a belief that nuclear would generate electricity ‘too cheap to meter’. This was based on basic Physics. A nuclear reactor uses a ‘fuel’ that contains a million times the energy density of fossil fuels. The price has been raised by endless ratcheting of ‘safety’ requirements, to the point of lunacy, but it makes senses even so.

    Nuclear is really the key to lifting living standards for everyone across the planet, not just comfortable Swedes living in their energy-rich lifestyles, but everyone. Without causing environmental damage. With unlimited energy, anything is possible.

  10. @gutta percha

    Yep, and don’t forget his call for violence. It’s tucked in there, with just enough equivocation to give him wiggle room. The left never changes.

    • Replies: @gutta percha
  11. @Bragadocious

    Here’s a bit from Salon in 1999:

    “Rall is, unabashedly, “a communist on economic issues. I don’t see any reason why anyone should make more money than someone else for working.” (He volunteered, however, that he’s also “a hypocrite” — a lefty with a well-above-proletarian income.) ”

    Despite all contradicting history, he has an unshakable faith in the infallibility of command economies. AGW (now maliciously misnamed as “climate change”) is simply his latest Trojan Horse to justify our enslavement.

  12. The Earth’s climate is changing. It’s been changing for roughly 4.5billion years. What’s your point?

    BTW, Mars is warming lately too: Is that also AGW?

    • Agree: Realist
  13. The liberals could be heroes if they would just sacrifice themselves to the Climate Change God.

  14. Angharad says:

    It’s not “global warming”. It’s global GARBAGE. The planet is WAY past carrying capacity re: Humans. The problem is NOT Western Nations, It’s Asian and African countries. Browns and Blacks. They do NOT care about the environment. They care about immediate gratification, and that’s ALL.

    White People, as a Race, are the only people that do care about the environment.

    Stop feeding the Orcs, Whitey.

  15. wayfarer says:

    “Climate Change,” on the planet Jupiter.

  16. I don’t have to read this article. The title is enough. Climate change? How much longer will be tortured by these deluded beings? When will it end?

    Will it end when the solar minimum reaches full force in a year or so? Will it end when summers shorten all over the northernmost (and inn the Southern Hemisphere, in the southernmost) areas of the world”? Or will it end when glaciers start growing?

    When? This is madness. Why do idiots like Rall write? When will it end?

  17. Meanwhile, the popular mass delusion called ‘Climate Change’ is being put to the test. The skeptics are winning. Hysteria-driven dogma does not equal scientific veracity.

    https://principia-scientific.org/video-dr-tim-ball-on-victory-over-michael-mann/

    As with history (even taboo subjects) one must Follow the Truth Wherever it Leads.

  18. Realist says:

    Time to get serious, goddamn it.

    There is no proof of AGW…goddamn it.

  19. The really serious denial is the denial that we are powerless to avoid the collapse that is bearing down on our overpopulated planet.

    This is a survival issue, not a moral or technological issue. It will be decided by a combination of chance and individual effort. After population is reduced life will go on.

    The future belongs to whoever shows up.

  20. BuelahMan says:

    Who let the moron write an article?

    Who here allowed it to be published?

    • Replies: @foolisholdman
  21. There’s only one known technology that has a chance at replacing fossil fuels; nuclear.

    Lets build the right type of nuclear power plants; LFTR, aka Molten Salt Reactor.

    The current uranium plants are an environmental problem. The only reason they exist is because decades ago, the military wanted plutonium for their bombs and a thorium reactor wouldn’t produce any; a uranium reactor would. Now, there’s an industry built around the uranium fuel cycle and there’s no incentive to change.

    The man who invented the uranium and the thorium fuel cycle, Alvin Weinberg, was fired when he pushed for a thorium based nuclear energy environment. He spent the rest of his life advocating thorium because he knew the pressurized reactors required by the uranium cycle, would eventually lead to a nuclear disaster. A thorium cycle reactor is self regulating and simply can’t cause a meltdown because of the physics involved.

    Thorium reactors are currently in development in China and India. The US has made it illegal to work on a thorium reactor. A thorium reactor can eat the deadly by products of a uranium reactor thereby producing electricity from what is today a nuclear waste problem. The thorium reactor, invented and thoroughly tested in the US, is now being implemented outside the US because the US legal system is too stupid to see the benefits.

    BTW – AGW is BS.

    • Replies: @A123
  22. Anonymous[612] • Disclaimer says:

    Most of the types who go on about “climate change” would call you a racist bigot if you pointed out that it’s non-white countries like China and India, among others, that are most responsible for industrial pollution and environmentally unfriendly practices in regards to waste disposal, etc. Most “climate change” activists are very clear in their belief that it’s white Westerners responsible for destroying the environment, they consider the huge fossil fuel emissions in non-white countries to be totally irrelevant. There is A LOT of hypocrisy there.

    That tells you all you need to know about the “climate change” agenda. It’s about enforcing more regulation and more taxes on WHITE people, in fact if I was going to be really cynical I would say that it’s a deliberate agenda to stagnate white countries in taxes and red tape in order to give non-white countries a huge advantage. If flooding our countries with non-white third worlders wasn’t enough they’re now going to stagnate our economies in red tape and “green” taxes and therefore shift what remains of it to non-white countries immune to these regulations and taxes.

    • Agree: Digital Samizdat
  23. A123 says:
    @RoatanBill

    One of the reasons why it is so hard to mine Rare Earth minerals in the U.S. is the Thorium that comes out of the ground with the other minerals. It has no current use, and is therefore classified as ‘radioactive waste ‘.

    LFTR would allow the Thorium to be used as fuel. This would allow mining to resume in the U.S, ending China’s monopoly control over rare earth minerals.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  24. @Anonymous

    It’s being used to push mass immigration. Ed Markey of Massachusetts just proposed forcing the U.S. to accept 50,000 “climate refugees” a year. All of the refugee resettlement groups are licking their chops over this. I would say the end game looks like a permanent inflow of Third World Democrats and the government seizing private property along the coasts, although Obama’s new mansion on Martha’s Vineyard will be exempt.

  25. @A123

    Since you know about the rare earth connection with Thorium, do you also know that the US has at least 100 years worth of Thorium fuel buried in barrels in the Nevada desert?

    Not many people even heard of Thorium or its primary evangelist, Kirk Sorensen. The eco zombies are anti the very thing they should be championing, namely Molten Salt Reactors.

    Small reactors could be turned out like hot dogs on an assembly line and placed where concentrated power is needed; no containment building needed. The power grid could become decentralized across the country limiting the current vulnerability to attack by man or nature (Carrington Event situations).

    NASA has run out of nuclear fuel for future space missions that can’t rely on solar due to distance. Nuclear Medicine is in dire need of radioactive isotopes as the supply is short. Uranium and the transuranics languishing in spent fuel ponds across the globe could be safely consumed by Thorium reactors – nuclear waste could be a thing of the past AND it would turn a problem into useful power.

    But the collective morons known as government prevent this technology from flourishing in the US simply because they’ve written ‘laws’ against Thorium and have thugs (cops, military, regulators, etc) to enforce their fatwas.

    China is in the lead on producing viable reactor designs and has a firm commitment to implementing the technology. Even the Czech Republic is ahead of the US because they are seriously investigating the technology. Another case where the US’s political class is crippling the economy.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @foolisholdman
  26. A123 says:
    @RoatanBill

    Since you know about the rare earth connection with Thorium, do you also know that the US has at least 100 years worth of Thorium fuel buried in barrels in the Nevada desert?

    Yes. Given the number of shipping containers, there is quite a bit of fuel available. (1)

    Did you know that Oak Ridge National Laboratories preserved all of the original documentation from the lab/pilot scale operation of a LFTR. (2). This will save years in any development effort.

    There was apparently work done on a Chloride Salt, Fast Neutron, Thorium reactor at Argonne National Laboratory. However, I have never heard of those documents becoming available.

    Small reactors could be turned out like hot dogs on an assembly line and placed where concentrated power is needed; no containment building needed.

    I am enthusiastic too, but there are practical concerns that need to be addressed.

    LFTR runs at low pressure, thus the expensive pressure vessel is not needed. However, there will still need to be a structure that protects on-site workers and the equipment. The temperatures the system will run at are quite high. Fluoride Lithium Beryllium [FliBe] salt is reasonably safe by itself, however in a working environment there will also be Thorium, Uranium, and other reaction products in the salt mix.

    A system that runs as a “cartridge” is highly plausible. However, that implies that the used cartridge will be transported back to the manufacturing or a reclamation site to be “reloaded”. At least initially, that will limit the geographic distribution of the units.

    PEACE 😇

    ________

    (1) https://energyfromthorium.com/2006/04/29/how-much-thorium-would-it-take-to-power-the-whole-world/

    (2) https://energyfromthorium.com/msrp/

  27. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    The author’s failure to respond to these questions (or any of the other comments) indicates that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. If he’s just another loud voice in the freshman dorm, why was this published?

  28. @BuelahMan

    This site is for writers who write articles that other people don’t like. I thought everyone knew that. Ron Unz does us all an immense favour in keeping it open to all sorts of views. Long may he have the power to do so! Railing because you don’t like what is written, is stupid. You don’t have to like it, you just have to be grateful that it is allowed to be published.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  29. @Anonymous

    Most of the types who go on about “climate change” would call you a racist bigot if you pointed out that it’s non-white countries like China and India, among others, that are most responsible for industrial pollution and environmentally unfriendly practices in regards to waste disposal, etc. Most “climate change” activists are very clear in their belief that it’s white Westerners responsible for destroying the environment, they consider the huge fossil fuel emissions in non-white countries to be totally irrelevant. There is A LOT of hypocrisy there.

    Since the USA and to a lesser extent Europe exported its polluting industries to China it is hardly surprising that the China produces more pollution than the US and Europe. As it is the Chinese produce less pollution per head than either the US or Europe. Furthermore the biggest efforts to reduce pollution, generate renewable energy, plant trees and green deserts are being exerted by the Chinese. The US by contrast, is opposed to reducing reliance on fossil fuels!

    As to waste disposal: that’s a ridiculous charge! Until recently the US, Canada, Australia and much of Europe were sending their waste to China, the Philippines and India for processing and disposal. Eventually, China and the Philippines got pissed off with being used as dustbins and told these countries to keep their own waste and recycle it themselves. The Canadians ignored this and the Philippines sent a large consignment of containers full of used adult diapers back to Canada, a month or two back. Their decision has been greeted with weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, in the white countries involved, as might be expected, but very inadequate efforts to dispose of their own waste in-country.

  30. @RoatanBill

    NASA has run out of nuclear fuel for future space missions that can’t rely on solar due to distance.

    Yes, I read this a couple of years back. “NASA cannot get the plutonium it needs”. It seems very curious to me, because we (UK) have this “special relationship” with the USA and yet the UK government has 109 tons (Yes tons!) of plutonium doing nothing, in storage, and has had for years now. What is going on?

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  31. @foolisholdman

    Maybe the UK’s plutonium is like the gold in Ft. Knox; a mirage.

    Think about it – where and how would someone store fissile material of that quantity without it representing critical mass; a purposeful Fukushima or China Syndrome? The claim defies the laws of physics if it were stored in one facility. How many facilities has the UK got for storing bomb grade material much sought after by rogue entities.

    That the claim is made by gov’t is believable. What’s not believable is the truth of the claim.

  32. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @foolisholdman

    The article should not have been published because it is uninformative hysteria from someone who apparently doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  33. “There are no means of reversing the process which is melting the polar ice caps. And very few appear to be prepared to say so.”

    There’s something I don’t get: for the past thirty years or so, the AGWers have been going on and on about the polar ice caps melting. So if this is true, then where’s all the water (from the melted ice) going? New York’s still there. San Francisco, too. In fact, as far as I know, we still haven’t lost a single Pacific atoll! Something must be wrong with their theory.

    Liberals post their concern to social media. Some even attend protest marches. But they’re hardly acting like we face an existential crisis.

    Nor are the powers that be. They’re just taking advantage of our hysteria to do some more profiteering (see below).

    Anything short of revolution and the abolition of consumer capitalism is “minimizational denial” …

    Unfortunately, Ted, proletarian ownership of the means of production is not what’s on offer in this case. No, what the people behind Greta Thunberg (Davos Girl!) are pushing is just cap and trade–another Wall Street scam, along with still more off-shoring by allowing the Chinese to keep on polluting.

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