I've been thinking about global climate change deniers because on one of my other blogs, I've been having a conversation with a reader on the subject. This reader is a passionate denier, and anytime I mention a story about climate change on the blog, I can expect to get a comment telling me it is all a load of horse pucky.
Why is it that otherwise intelligent people, who would normally accept overwhelming scientific evidence on a subject, reject such evidence when it comes to climate change? They will argue until the cows come home that it is all a hoax. The scientists are lying to us (but Fox News is telling the truth!) and very few people believe them. And, of course, if a majority of people do not believe that climate change exists, that means it is not true, correct? Truly, the mind boggles.
It is very likely, I would imagine, that a polling agency could find evidence that a majority of people in this country believe the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around it. Furthermore, that story about men walking on the moon? They were really on a beach in Florida. Yes, I have no doubt that there are people who hold such opinions.
The thing is, people are entitled to hold any opinion they wish to, no matter how stupid or uninformed it may be. People are not entitled to invent their own facts. And when it comes to climate, the facts very much have a bias in favor of human affected global climate change.
So why do some people have so much trouble accepting these facts? I have a theory, an opinion, you might call it.
I have noticed that global climate change deniers often refer to Al Gore in their sneering denigration of the whole idea that the earth is getting warmer too fast. They seem to truly hate Mr. Gore and anything that they associate with him must be wrong; ergo, since Al Gore has spent most of his adult life trying to warn people about the global warming phenomenon, the whole idea must just be something he thought up and it is a hoax. I believe that their hatred of Mr. Gore, and thus their fevered attempts to prove global warming a hoax, is based in guilt.
Yes, the deniers feel guilty because they know that Mr. Gore won the election for the presidency in 2000. The majority of those who voted in the country in that year voted for him and wanted him to be their president, but a politicized Supreme Court ruled that all votes did not have to be counted and that George W. Bush should be president. And we know how that turned out. The deniers know all of this and even though they will never ever admit it, that is the reason that they refuse to believe the scientists on climate change. Because, you see, Al Gore stands with the scientists and he must be beaten and proven wrong. Otherwise, the whole house of cards that was constructed so carefully beginning with that court decision in 2000 and running through 2008 will all come tumbling down.
That's my opinion anyway, and I'm sticking to it.