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View Diary: Surprise! Yet another year of sucky global warming 'coverage' from the broadcast news programs (90 comments)

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  •  tangent topic:Should we talk about climate change? (1+ / 0-)
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    David Roberts, a blogger at Grist, is challenging what he says is an evolving consensus among American "climate hawks" who say there's "nothing to be gained from talking about climate change".  

    These types, according to Roberts, argue that political effort aimed at climate mitigation needs to conceal itself inside debate focused on "innovation, energy security, and economic competitiveness" as a way of getting something i.e. tiny bits of what is required, done, because otherwise nothing would be accomplished at all.

    Roberts reminds us of a strategy that he believes works:
    ‘Brutal logic’ and climate communications
    As I’ve said so many times, though, what drives social change and shifts politics is not broad-based support but intensity. An intensely committed minority can act as a lever that moves larger populations. Scientists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute did a study on this recently — “Social consensus through the influence of committed minorities” — that attempted to determine “the tipping point where a minority belief becomes the majority opinion.” They found that that it happens at right around 10 percent.
    So it very much matters who wins that battle of intensity. That is how the Overton Window is shifted, how views from outside the mainstream come to be inside.
    The right gets this. Forty years ago, supply-side economics and opposition to basic social safety net protections were crank, extremist views held by a small minority of hardcore conservatives — the folks who rallied behind Goldwater in 1964 and lost. But as historian Rick Perlstein recounts in Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, they didn’t stop. They kept organizing and pushing, organizing and pushing. Then came Nixon, Reagan, GW Bush, Sarah Palin. Now extremist conservative views are part of the mainstream fabric.

    What if they’d given up after 1964? What if they’d looked at surveys, concluded the American middle didn’t favor their views, and spent the next decades trying to tone down and soften those views?

    That’s where climate hawks are — their own 1964. Surely one of their most important tasks is to grow and support the committed minority of people who have absorbed and understood the severity of the climate crisis. From this perspective, it doesn’t matter if climate truth initially fails to reach the mushy middle. What matters is that the committed minority grows.
    Someone around here has been making this exact point for a long time
     - Thx MB
    •  Eric (0+ / 0-)

      The conservatives were well funded by those with financial interests at stake. The environmental "minority" is not.

      As I see it, the fossil fuel industry is conflicted over the advice of their "advisors" who are paid for their advice to oppose any climate change legislation at all, and their own wish to control any proposed solution for their own benefit.

      When it becomes so late no other solution is possible,  they will propose a grand solution to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

      The mistake we make is that we believe them to be greedy and stupid. Greedy yes, stupid no. They can afford to pay for smart.

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