At the moment, many right-wing ideologues are sticking to abject climate change denial, crazy ideas like — it is not happening, it is good for us, it is not caused by humans, it is a left-wing conspiracy, it’s designed to steal your money, and so on. Notice how many are contradictory — not happening and good for us are mutually exclusive. The idea is to throw out as many rationalizations as possible to provide a “plausible” excuse for each of their supporters via varying reality-denying views. For example, “it’s good for us” is for those who realize it is definitely happening, but “doesn’t exist” is for those who can sustain that internal delusion.
But eventually enough of their voters will realize it’s a real issue and demand their “leaders” fight it. But that cannot be allowed for various reasons, so they will pivot to false solutions.
The idea is that, when abject denial (eventually) becomes unsustainable, they will pretend they want to fight climate change, but will propose or promote toothless half measures whose real purpose is to satisfy their supporters, who can be fooled by ridiculous solutions.
One goal is to gum up the bothsiderism news and public discourse and win elections by tricking voters yet again. Another is to essentially enable fossil fuel industries to keep burning fossils. Divide and conquer. (Then fail spectacularly when we exceed 2ºC at record speed.)
This is already happening in Canada. The last conservative government simply decided climate change was unsolvable and pulled out of the Kyoto protocol, while the current centrist government is playing both sides and instituted a rebated carbon tax but also blows money on oil pipelines. The new, expected conservative government talking heads are saying they believe in climate change but claim that they will fix it by scrapping the carbon tax (which is already rebated to citizens) and instituting toothless measures that they “claim” will work better. They claim that we need new technology. Much like the claim that electric vehicles are nonviable until we have solid-state batteries, someday in the distant future, and Tesla is always destined to fail, this is the game plan for new talking points.
The right believes the masses will fall for their fake climate solutions, or vote them into office based on other simplistic issues. They are probably right.
Why will this strategy work?
- It provides plausible deniability to the fact that conservatives are against fighting climate change.
- It appeases deniers, who easily see through the plan (but would never admit it because it gets them what they want, no real action).
- It will gaslight gullible voters into believing they can have right-wing “values” and climate mitigation.
- They can also gaslight independents and progressives — not everyone will fall for it, but enough will.
- Few currently know that 100% renewable energy is already possible and modeled by multiple organizations with today’s technology.
- Easy answers are extremely intuitive, so many people won’t carefully analyze the plan and determine it’s a fraud.
- It prevents climate change from becoming a major wedge issue in any election (have your cake and alternative facts as well).
- They can bully the bothsiderism media to give fake plans serious press and do nothing more than offer mealy-mouthed challenges.
Essentially, it delays, obfuscates, and enables destroying human society.
What can we do about this?
Typically in my articles I provide solutions to the issue being discussed. This time around, that will be difficult. It would be nice if voters had the sense to realize they were being played and to categorically reject fake solutions, but politics has shown us time and again that easy answers, single issues, smearing, lies, double standards, hate, and gaslighting lead to electoral success.
Perhaps the answer here is to prepare the public for the fake solutions that will eventually come their way. But how? Educate the bothsiderism media that their role is stand up to lies and not try to appease bullies (as if that has worked so far — they can’t even put two and two together to realize Trump’s fake news cries are successful in bullying them)? Teach the public that 100% renewables is already possible and it is certain politicians preventing that from being adopted? Somehow get the word out that 100% renewables is cheaper then fossil fuels, in most cases even before pricing in externalities, and that it provides jobs? Perhaps climate influencers can warn the public? Will Greta Thunberg’s exhortations that half measures are a fraud and not enough to save us be enough to convince voters to not fall for demonstrably fake solutions?
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