Conservative Ignorance about Climate Change Exposes the Problem with their Entire Ideology

climatechange-for-dummiesI’m sure most of those reading this know someone who doesn’t believe in climate change, global warming — whatever you want to call it.  I prefer calling it “climate change” because I feel it’s a more accurate depiction of what’s happening with our planet rather than just saying it’s “warming,” though that’s accurate as well.

And I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume that if you know anyone who doesn’t believe in climate change, you’ve experienced what I call “cold weather ignorance.”  By that I mean there’s news of a cold front, snow storm or some other cold weather occurrence that’s newsworthy when suddenly the climate change denier comes up with something like, “Oh, so much for that climate change/global warming nonsense, huh?!”

This is also the same person who never says a single word when there’s worldwide news of record heat waves, droughts and other extreme weather patterns.  They’re also probably the same person who doesn’t understand that extreme weather — even extreme cold weather — is tied in with climate change (another reason why I use that term instead of “global warming”).

They’re also people who’ll ignore the science that saw this past November go on record as Earth’s hottest November — ever.  Also, Australia had it’s hottest recorded year ever in 2013.

But hey, climate change is fake because Fox News and the right-wing media says so!  I mean, after all, it’s cold outside!

To me this is reflective of their entire ideology.  Nearly everything conservatives build their ideology on seems to be something with the lone requirement of fitting on a bumper sticker.  It’s short, simple and “just sounds right.”

Just look at their tax policies.  “Tax cuts create jobs!”  Just ignore the fact that decades of indisputable economic data says otherwise — “tax cuts create jobs” sounds good.  After all, “How will raising taxes create jobs?”  Which is another question that has little to do with the big picture.  Jobs are created by demand, not tax cuts.  Conservatives just lack the ability to think of the bigger picture, instead focusing on the tiny talking point of, “Tax cuts create jobs and tax hikes kill them!”  Again, ignoring the fact that reality doesn’t support this theory.

Gun violence provides another example of their short-sighted way of thinking.  “How can a gun be violent?  It can’t fire itself!  What, are you going to blame spoons for obesity?!”  Completely ignoring the bigger picture that gun violence is a real problem and guns do play a large part in that.  It’s an issue that requires big picture thinking, which is way of thinking most conservatives simply seem unable to utilize.

All of this ties into the conservative resistance to change.  Many conservatives I meet have this mindset of, “This is how I’ve done things, how I was raised, so this is the way it should be done.  It’s worked out for me so it can and should work for everyone else.”

Many liberals (myself included) have claimed that liberals built this country.  Liberals usually believe in change, progress and evolution whereas conservatives don’t usually believe in change, progress or evolution.  Giving Constitutional rights during a time when that wasn’t the “norm” was bucking tradition in an embrace of a new and unsure future.  Ending slavery was an act of ending a disgusting tradition that this country had carried on with since its creation.  Women’s voting rights, Civil Rights, Social Security, Medicare — these are all things that changed the course of our nation forever.  They weren’t a continuation of the “status quo,” they were the complete opposite of that.

Time and time again I see conservatives use such a simplified way of thinking with damn near everything while completely ignoring the bigger picture.  Which is something you clearly see with the ignorant conservative response pointing to a cold front, blizzard or some other cold-related weather phenomenon as the “proof” that climate change/global warming is a hoax.

Many of them are basically simple-minded people with outdated ways of viewing things in a modern world of complex problems.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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