The cut-and-paste method for denialism

Palmer Report has significant operating expenses, including website hosting, tech support, mailing list services, and much more. If you value Palmer Report’s content, donate here.

Here we are in the impossibly futuristic-sounding year of 2023 and we still have no flying cars, no instantaneous teleportation and no Martian colonies. Instead we have social media, video streaming and portable phones in our pockets with more access to information than the Library of Congress. The future arrived all right, just not in the way we figured.

In other words, the future is a bad bet when it comes to gambling, so it begs the question, why are some of us betting our lives on it? I’m talking about the fact that across social media, chat forums and certain blogs devoted to climate science denialism there is an emerging hope that some future technology will save us from global climate change.

It’s part of the reason why some of us quite foolishly think we need not do anything about global warming. Can’t we just wait until the last minute when, like a bad movie, some future technological saviour comes galloping in on its white steed to save us all? If you believe that then stop it right now. It’s a stupid way to avoid thinking.

For one thing, that undiscovered miraculous future technology may in fact exist, but it will only ever come to us if we strive mightily to fix the problem right now with the tools we have, however imperfect those tools may be. We made it to the moon not only because we tried, but because we stumbled upon undiscovered technologies along the way that made it possible in the first place, technologies we would have never discovered had we not laboured mightily looking for something else.

Much of the reason for this silliness comes from complaints about existing renewable energy sources that climate science deniers are cutting and pasting all over the internet with the fervour of 9/11 “Truthers” parroting the “mysteries” of Building 7. Such examples are Legion. You may have even seen one example in the form of a meme showing a gasoline powered car rescuing an electric car with power from a gasoline powered generator, juxtaposed with a scene of the thugs from “Goodfellas” laughing their stupid heads off. It’s superficially funny when you ignore the fact that even with such apparent contradictions the point remains that we are moving in the direction of renewables, we’re just doing it imperfectly and slowly.

As a vegan I get this kind of idiocy all the time from people demanding to know why we insist on having meat-shaped food. First of all “we” don’t all feel that way. I don’t, for one. But even if we did, so what? It’s not about the stupid and meaningless apparent contradictions you catch us in, it’s about the positive goals we are trying to achieve for animals and humans alike, and why our collective effort is bringing us ever closer to that goal.

Global warming is a fact and many world politicians and all fossil fuel companies are trying to greenwash us into believing they are doing something about it. Our best defence is to make absolutely certain that we make fighting climate change a priority in our own lives. And if that makes the lives of politicians unbearable and if it inconveniences the idiots who buy and drive big hulking SUVs and if it brings the world a tiny bit closer to carbon neutrality then so much the better.

This is our planet and we not only have a right to save it, we have a duty to try. With everything in our beings we must continue to try. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

Palmer Report has significant operating expenses, including website hosting, tech support, mailing list services, and much more. If you value Palmer Report’s content, donate here.