Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Paul Krugman: "Interests, Ideology and Climate" @ The New York Times (Ed/Op)

Uncle Academic comments while forwarding this hot-link to The Flyer: "Goes to show: bad literature can have bad effects."  He titled the Subject line: "Krugman on Koch Bros. Motivations ..."

[Excerpt] ... Well, think about global warming from the point of view of someone who grew up taking Ayn Rand seriously, believing that the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest is always good and that government is always the problem, never the solution. Along come some scientists declaring that unrestricted pursuit of self-interest will destroy the world, and that government intervention is the only answer. It doesn’t matter how market-friendly you make the proposed intervention; this is a direct challenge to the libertarian worldview.

And the natural reaction is denial — angry denial. Read or watch any extended debate over climate policy and you’ll be struck by the venom, the sheer rage, of the denialists.

The fact that climate concerns rest on scientific consensus makes things even worse, because it plays into the anti-intellectualism that has always been a powerful force in American life, mainly on the right. It’s not really surprising that so many right-wing politicians and pundits quickly turned to conspiracy theories, to accusations that thousands of researchers around the world were colluding in a gigantic hoax whose real purpose was to justify a big-government power grab. ... [End of Excerpt]

Read the complete essay at the New York Times.

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