Friday, May 03, 2013

Why Bother With Climate Change? The World is Ending Soon Anyway.

Apparently an awful lot of Americans have embraced "End Times Theology".   As they see it, the world is ending soon anyway so there's no point worrying about trivialities like climate change.

A study by David Barker of the University of Pittsburgh and David Bearce of the University of Colorado concludes there is simply too much resistance to hope for effective action by Congress to deal with climate change.

[T]he fact that such an overwhelming percentage of Republican citizens profess a belief in the Second Coming (76 percent in 2006, according to our sample) suggests that governmental attempts to curb greenhouse emissions would encounter stiff resistance even if every Democrat in the country wanted to curb them.”

“[I]t stands to reason that most nonbelievers would support preserving the Earth for future generations, but that end-times believers would rationally perceive such efforts to be ultimately futile, and hence ill-advised.”

"...because of institutions such as the Electoral College, the winner-take-all representation mechanism, and the Senate filibuster, as well as the geographic distribution of partisanship to modern partisan polarization, minority interests often successfully block majority preferences.”  

“Thus, even if the median voter supports policies designed to slow global warming, legislation to effect such change could find itself dead on arrival if the median Republican voter strongly resists public policy environmentalism at least in part because of end-times beliefs.”

And before we get too self-righteous, let's remember we have one of these heel-dragging, do-nothing fundamentalist jackasses running our country too.

The truly frustrating part is that their End Times nonsense could turn into a self-fulfilling prophesy at least for countless millions of unfortunates around the world for whom the ravages of climate change will be their personal End Time only without that Rapture bullshit.


leftdog said...

This is a great post.

Far too many progressives simply do not understand the depths of idiocy that the Right has descended to. This demonstrates a delusional 'mass psychology' of huge proportions and it threatens life as we know it.

Canadian silver bug/Green Assassin Brigade said...

If only they'd morph into an active suicide cult we'd be rid of them for good.

Sad thing is they ARE a suicide cult they're just taking the slow train to oblivion rather than the express.

The Mound of Sound said...

You know, dog, I'm coming to think that market forces are what will drive American action on climate change. When the Carbon Bubble bursts, Washington will have to push the fossil fuel "reset" button. Wall Street has been as dysfunctional as the End Timers.

The insurance industry is already in full retreat. The American government, in remarkably socialist fashion, now is the key provider of crop insurance, flood insurance and hurricane insurance. They have no choice because the private sector refuses to write those sorts of policies.

@GAB - that same thought crossed my mind as I was putting this post together.

Purple library guy said...

It's not like they really believe any of this shit. I mean, not really really. It's more stuff they want to persuade themselves of because it's the most instantly gratifying and/or status-quo-preserving.

I mean, really, if I were a Christian and I believed that shortly the world was going to end (and so it wouldn't matter how rich I was) and the God who created the earth and left it in my stewardship was shortly going to call us all to account, I'd figure I should be doing my best to deliver said earth in as good shape as possible. Real end times believers shouldn't be following Mammon, they should be deep environmentalists. The fact that instead they use this nonsense as an excuse to just continue doing whatever they please shows that's all it is--an excuse.

Basically, the US is hooped. They're going down--in slow motion, as Canadian silver bug noted, but they are. Big problem for us is many of our politicians, and not just the Harper crowd, are bent on hitching Canada to the Titanic as it sinks.

Owen Gray said...

The End Times folk don't understand science, Mound. But they do understand when the market goes south.

A bursting carbon bubble would be good for us all.

Anonymous said...

Mass psychosis indeed! (On so many fronts, but by the same delusional jackasses!) I am a Christian, would classify myself as evangelical (small "e" - but not fundamentalist or socially conservative, and would be inclined to think there will be a Second Coming. The problem, of course, is that it hasn't occurred in the last 2,000 years (despite hundreds of wacko "prophesies") and there is absoultely NO reason to believe it will occur in the next 2,000, either (much less in my lifetime)! These delusional, anti-science, "believe their own B.S." whackjobs are going to kill us all. Best regards.

The Mound of Sound said...

Isn't that the parable of the Talents, GAB?

At the end of the day, Owen, bursting that Carbon Bubble may be our secular salvation.

Anonymous said...

Most fundamentalists believe the earth is here for their use, however, whenever and whomever therefore they do not need to look after the earth. They believe God put it here for their use and only their use.

The Mound of Sound said...

Thank you for your helpful insights, Anon12:18. It is always good to remember that fundamentalism lies at the core of this problem, not evangelism. Whether it's Christianity, Judaism, Islam, even Hinduism, fundamentalism gives rise to intolerance and dangerous extremism.

I have been encouraged at recent signs that at least a faction of American fundamentalists are breaking from absolute Dominionism and coming out in support of environmentalism.