Rebel Without a Clue gets Americans for Prosperity’s anti-efficiency, anti-science indoctrination at Cancun
Two years ago, [Gena] Bell was a floral arranger in Cincinnati with plenty of time on her hands (she used to trim five Christmas trees in her suburban house) and strong opinions about the direction in which the United States was going (down).
Now, she was a full-time political activist, the head of a fast-growing Ohio tea party group and an influential voice in the movement. Influential enough that Americans for Prosperity, one of the most well-heeled tea party backers in the country, had invited her to help protest a U.N. climate change conference in Cancun.
It bothered her that no one had told her why she had been invited, or just what she would be doing. But she hadn’t pushed too hard to find out before saying yes. It was tough to turn down a trip to Mexico in December.
Assuming we destroy a livable climate for our children and countless future generations, future historians (and our other billions of victims) will have many decades (if not centuries) of misery to contemplate why the richest country in the world, one built on scientific and technological ingenuity, refused to spend a small fraction of our wealth to avert multiple ever-worsening catastrophes that science projected we risk on our current emissions path (see “A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice” and “ Why even strong climate action has such a low total cost“).
They will no doubt study the failure of the Obama administration to seize the once-in-a-generation opportunity — the one brief shining moment where we had a Democratic president plus large majorities in the House and Senate (see “The failed presidency of Barack Obama, Part 2: He let die our best chance to preserve a livable climate and restore US leadership in clean energy — without a serious fight”). They’ll examine How the status quo media failed on climate change.
But ultimately, they will focus on the most successful and immoral disinformation campaign in human history — the anti-science, pro-pollution lies of the Merchants of Doubt. They will marvel at how that disinformation campaign captured an entire political party (see National Journal: “The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones”).
Their review should include this stunning front-page Washington Post story from Saturday, “Tea-party activists question if rebel political movement has changed for worse” — yes the headline is oxymoronic: How could a movement that from the start was backed by big corporate polluters and helping to plunge the nation and the world into climate chaos possibly change for the ‘worse’? But I digress.
The story of Gena Bell is a cautionary tale. I’ll excerpt the climate-related parts below. Warning: This is a two-head-vise story.