Why is the ignorance of national conservative pundits on energy and climate issues so important? Why do I spend time debunking the Krauthaumers of the world?
Because a large number of conservatives rely on them in forming their opinions on complex issues like global warming. After all, who among us has time to be expert on every subject? The role of conservative pundits is doubly dangerous because they don’t merely spread misinformation to the conservative base, they tell them it is not an important or first-tier issue worthy of their attention. They preach malign neglect.
A good example of how this plays out is an interview my brother Dave did with a Melinda Fredericks, a delegate to the Republican National Convention — see here or use the new widget:[audio:http://www.romm.org/audio/20080901rnc05melinda2.mp3]
The whole interview is rather long, but the climate stuff is relatively early on:
ROMM: Well, what about your stance on things like, say, global warming?
FREDERICKS: Ya know, I am gonna go with Charles Krauthammer on that and call myself “a global warming agnostic.”
ROMM: Which means what?
FREDERICKS: Which means that there is so much talk, and I’m not – I haven’t, I haven’t myself gone through what yet is truth on either side. But there’s enough committed people who I think um, deserved — who have credibility, that deserve to be listened to on both sides. And um, so, I’m, I uh, I’m just not sure yet, what I believe on that. But I respect. Um. I respect that there are, that there are those who are listening and aware that we may truly have a problem. And we need to, uh, make sure that we address it. In the event that there is.
It should be as outrageous and out of the mainstream to say you are “agnostic” on global warming as to say you are agnostic on nuclear proliferation or breast cancer or 9/11. But it isn’t. Why? Because it is a position articulated by seemingly credible people with a big megaphone, like Charles Krauthammer — and George Will and Gregg Easterbrook.
The only thing more shameful than not thinking for yourself is letting shameless non-thinkers do it for you.
- Krauthammer’s strange denier talk points, Part 1: Newton’s laws were “overthrown”
- Part 2: The real reason conservatives don’t believe in climate science
- Can This Planet Be Saved? Not if conservatives rule
- George Will nails the difference between conservatives and progressives
- Gregg Easterbrook still knows nothing about global warming — and less about clean energy.
- People Who Just Don’t Get Global Warming: Gregg Easterbrook and the Editors of the Atlantic