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Climate deniers hurting us all

Crikey readers talk John Howard's climate change speech and Guy Rundle's views on a mostly Left Q&A.

Inside the mind of a climate denier

Paul Pollard writes: Re. “Why understanding John Howard’s climate cognition is important” (yesterday).  Tristan Edis made some penetrating points on global warming denialism. It is well known that people see most readily, and dislike most strongly, in others the features that they themselves strongly possess. They also unconsciously judge others by their own standards. Thus when denialists criticise concern on global warming as a religion, as they often do (rather than see it as a rational response to a serious pollution problem), what they are saying is that they themselves approach issues essentially as matters of ideological belief, not as practical non-ideological problems.

Thus denialism is overwhelmingly a highly ideological, right-wing stance. This non-practical approach is exemplified by Howard’s illogical stance on technological progress and warming, which Tristan Edis explored. Given this ideological, closed-mind situation, I wonder if engineers will convince them. What might do the trick is if a list of absolutely top right-wing figures, in Australia and globally, previously sceptical or uncommitted, came out and said they were now convinced it was an urgent problem and went round arguing this case. It would of course take a lot of courage to do this. I can’t think of the “right” people at the moment, but this sort of personal change of position of leading figures has often led to change in the past, not least because they provide “cover” for others.

Les Heimann writes: Howard’s way “… addressing global warming is being opposed to economic development”. That’s it in a nutshell, isn’t it? Capitalism’s approach to anything that gets in the way of making a buck. John Howard, Tony Abbott and the list goes on. Why do so many people turn their backs on common sense? We are a herd animal. We are not individual bulls roaming and grazing cows in a group. We, the human race, are a family. As a family we are more like elephants, and we should behave that way, looking after those who can’t, caring for our young and working together for survival.

Together, not as capitalist bulls. Together means ensuring our survival and yes, yes, yes — climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time. Instead we accept the notion of ensuring our herd dies off in the future so some of us can get fat now. Those capitalists hiding as climate deniers are dishonest. Politicians who espouse climate denial for political purposes are worse. They are disgusting lone bulls, and they should be quietly removed to some remote back paddock before they do any more harm.

I want my grandchildren to live.

Savage attack

David Siebert writes: Re. “Rundle: real ideas, at least from the Left, in pollie-free Q&A” (yesterday). Rundle’s comments re Savage on Q&A, “Greer fired a salvo for the critical response  … this well-meaning but gormless American liberal could barely follow the argument”, are perplexing. Is this the same Dan Savage I’ve listened to? He has to be one the best speakers I’ve heard in while. He held court at the Opera House for an hour and had everyone in the palm of his hand. Gormless is not a word I’d use for the guy. Nor is the description “daffy American progressivism”. I would go as far as saying that’s pretty rude. And seriously, there are more than a few times we all get a brain ache when trying to follow Greer of late. A point on which I’ll agree is the need for a more balanced panel, with someone to give Savage, Rosin and Greer some food for thought. Hitchens really didn’t dent them.

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4 thoughts on “Climate deniers hurting us all

  1. Guy Rundle


    Dan Savage gives as good as he gets, so i think he’ll survive the gormless thing. I think he is sharp and acute as anyone on his own terrain – but the very assumptions of his choice-based liberalism make it impossible for him to take a genuinely critical stance on contemporary life. His very acuity at one level makes him gormless at another…. g

  2. Malcolm Harrison

    Au contraire to Savage defender, Rundle’s description of Savage as gormless was i thought spot on. It certainly made me feel better after getting irritated watching him on monday night as he persistently interrupted Hitchens and seemed unable to respond thoughtfully, or, as Rundle also points out, even bother to try and understand the arguments being offered him.

  3. Aaron Press

    I don’t think that the author of this peice understands what is turning many people to ‘denialism’ now.
    He/she should read the Kindle book ‘How to Cure a Climate Change Denier’

  4. CWON

    AGW is overwhelming a leftist wealth and control meme targeting carbon interests and money. It’s supported by incredibly weak “science” that in actuality enjoys only stereotypical left-wing academic support. Close to half of the AMS (American Meteorologic Society) doesn’t agree with the basic science meme and many skeptics have resigned over the issue already and were not polled;

    “Denier” of course is a deeply offensive (it invokes a comparison to “Holocaust Denial”) and is well understood in the left-wing community that is attracted to the term. H Just further proof that the AGW is about raw emotions not science in the discussion.