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Paul Ryan receiving dollar sign cake on Fox News.
You wonder what makes me tick?
We perhaps had assumed that ignorance or merely stupidity was responsible for the  rabid climate denialism which occurs in the Republican party, but a new study from the Journal of Climatic Change shows that it's all about the money and that it is an entrenched belief system.
Using data from the 2010 General Social Survey, this article looks at the moderating effect of party identification on income in predicting climate change beliefs in the U.S. Probing this interaction reveals that increased income predicts a higher probability of dismissing climate dangers among Republican-leaning individuals when compared with Independents and Democrats. Alternatively, increased income predicts a higher probability of ranking climate change as the most important environmental problem facing the United States among Democratic-leaning individuals compared with Republicans. The results indicate that income only predicts climate change beliefs in the presence of certain political orientations, with poorer Republicans less likely to dismiss climate change dangers than their affluent counterparts.
my bold

There has been much analysis as to why republicans seem to accept such totally outlandish and simply idiotic B.S. such as: trickle down will make everyone prosperous, deregulation is the path to economic nirvana even nonsense such as the President is from Kenya. This study makes more sense to me because it's all about the money. I have had experience with individuals who place their personal economic interests above anything else including the survival of their own species and even the health and safety of their own children and families and it's not pretty. Their lives are dictated by avarice and selfishness.

How do we fight them? Reason will not work forget about that. We must fight them by direct confrontation, obstruction and building greater power.

Originally posted to beach babe in fl on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 03:54 PM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Hawks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "Dismissing" by Upper Income Conservatives (5+ / 0-)

    for many issues often translates to "won't hurt my interests" not necessarily "won't happen."

    In this case I would start from a position of dismissing out of hand the idea that any other than the few evangelical rich Republicans deny the science.

    Ownership knows what's happening, knows the consequences to humanity, because it earns its quadrillions from science. It's doubling down on carbon energy because it seeks the known outcomes.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 04:06:07 PM PDT

    •  Yes. (6+ / 0-)

      Most of them are reasonably educated. They're not stupid. They just firmly believe that their money means they'll be able to protect themselves against the effects of climate change.  

      Many of them are older and think that they'll be dead before this will affect them -- of course, most of them have kids, grand kids and even great grandchildren.

      So their goal is to continue making more and more money, which they believe is a bigger and bigger hedge against the effects of climate change....

      while they live in Miami, along the Gulf Coast, the coast of Orange County, CA, and in NYC and intend to pass all that expensive property on to their heirs.

      So obviously, there is cognitive dissonance.

      They understand there is a risk. They don't bother understanding the full nature of the risk, because they think they're fully insulated from it by their wealth.

      How do we deal with people like this?

      Honestly, I don't think there is a way to.  

      Our best best is to work around them. We need to talk to the everyday folks who WILL suffer and see if they can help us vote these millionaires out of office.

      That would be an excellent start.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 04:17:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have no idea (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker, CA Nana, PeterHug

    why this surprises anyone.

    They believe their own BS.  It's indoctrination and a type of delusion.  They aren't fundamentally liars; they believe their own BS.  Rationalization and more rationalization.

    Chris Mooney has written good stuff about this.  Thus, I don't believe "it's all about the money."  There are rich people who understand science.  It's about ideological blindness (imho).

    "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." (Artemus Ward)

    by Silencio on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 04:06:52 PM PDT

    •  I referenced Chris Mooney in my second diary link (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover, Silencio, Naniboujou, splashy

      and I agree that there is blindness but I think what filters reason is greed.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 04:17:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just to be clear: I wasn't disagreeing with you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VL Baker, Naniboujou

        in any important way.

        If the tone seemed challenging (I don't know if it did or didn't) it was haste and not disagreement.

        "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." (Artemus Ward)

        by Silencio on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 04:21:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely, it's pure, unadulterated greed. Do (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zwenkau, Calamity Jean, alicia, VL Baker

        you think that the likes of Rex Tillerson or the Kochs care that their children and grandchildren might be hated, perhaps even persecuted in future decades after their gone for the planetary destruction?  Some of these corporations that profit while using our atmosphere, oceans and waterways as open sewers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on campaigns and lobbying to introduce "debate" about climate change when they know full well that there is none.  

        Republican "leaders" exercise willful blindness at the expense of Americans and the rest of the world's people every day.  In the last two weeks alone, they introduced legislation in the House that would prevent the military and the Dept of Energy from looking into, planning for or acting on climate change.  The climate denier House Republicans are literally threatening our nat'l security.  They don't care about anything except preserving their donations for their next election.  And, as long as they do what they are told by the polluters, those checks will keep coming.

        These are people who don't care if neighboring property owners get harmed, even killed, by their operations.  They want to increase profits for themselves (or their shareholders) without worrying about regulation.  

        They wanted to get rid of the EPA back in 1980 and they are still trying to do it by chipping away at funding that is needed to protect the drinking water of Americans.

        Poor Republicans should worry about climate change as they have no resources to protect themselves when the proverbial s**t hits the fan.  

        If you want to know the difference between most Democrats and Republicans, you need look no further than the Presidents of the last few decades.  What do they do after they leave the White House?  Which ones are out helping people trying to make a difference as public servants?  Which ones are sitting back drinking and painting dogs, hanging out at a ranch or beachside estate  doing nothing but looking out for themselves as usual?

  •  they are stupid -- don't give them the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    benefit of the doubt.  they cannot be allowed to hold us hostage any longer.

  •  Contrarian conceit often correlates w/wealth, (0+ / 0-)

    perhaps because the wealthy like to think that what distinguishes them is less luck and more distinctiveness.

    Few of them are stupid enough to think that they or their ancestors worked 100s or 1000s of times as hard as the average person, but it is easy (for anybody) to delude oneself about the extent of one's ability to think and act independently of the herd. Moreover, what feels like "independence from the herd" is often more precisely described as the more fundamentally gratifying status of "membership in the exclusive club".

    How many times have you heard a variation on the quip that

    If [90%] of [whoever] believes it, then it must be wrong.
    There is actually a grain of truth underlying this reflex, when applied to investment and other business decisions, because highly popular companies and business lines can easily become overpriced and/or over-competitive, but most of the wealthy people who think that this is why they are wealthy are engaging in, at best, highly selective remembering.
  •  it's too bad talk radio listenership is never (0+ / 0-)

    factored in polls and studies like this

    one of it's major functions is to circulate rationalizations and excuses for their fear, hate, denial, greed, deregulation, etc and it's ever-present and dominant in the republican universe whether coming directly from the radio or secondarily- it helps them live with themselves ad enjoy their shallow ignorant lives.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 07:18:31 PM PDT

  •  The bolded part of the quoted material (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker

    clearly says that it’s not ‘all about the money’.  This may be clearer with the following bolding: ‘income only predicts climate change beliefs in the presence of certain political orientations’.  In other words, given a certain belief system, climate denial is correlated with income.

    Note that this observation has a positive side, noted at the end of the quoted material: poorer Republicans tend to be more receptive to the facts of this particular issue.

  •  Addicts are like that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker

    They are addicted to money, so can't see anything else but getting more.

    The Democrats, on the other hand, are not as likely to be completely addicted, because they are usually able to part with some of their money for the greater good. They can see a bigger picture, because they aren't blinded so much.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 04:26:27 AM PDT

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