It is understandable that the subtlety of a typhoon nearly blowing the Philippines literally out of the water might make it easy to miss.
Of course, the easy-to-spot mistaken assumption here is that there are empirical or concrete revelations remotely capable of piercing the force field defending the reactionary congregation against all incoming hostile realities.
Indeed, long after Antarctica is the new Mojave, and oceans boil hotter than napalm every newly destructive manifestation of change will continue to be dismissed as one of God’s fed-up to here op-eds about gays and abortion, or planetary climate business as usual since back when Early Man rode dinosaurs at rodeos.
So neither wildfire conflagrations, shrinking glaciers, cyclonic devastation or the latest report made public by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presenting more alarming evidence of the severity and rapidity of the consequences of a changing climate will make a dent against the Great Shield.
Polluters, and their extended conservative political families learned a lesson, too well perhaps, in the initial phases of environmentalism, which is that bickering over the seriousness of painfully obvious, and obviously harmful environmental degradations, or over the stringency of measures to address them was a losing proposition in the end. Of course, it helped that you could literally see the problem: a shroud of gunk hanging over your city causing your eyes to water and your lungs to burn, or massive, spreading blotches of “black gold” as Jed Clampett or Charles and David Koch would call it, defacing the sparkling blue sea.
But clever, in their way, the polluters and their affiliated anti-regulatory-fanatical, Libertarian-besotted ideological bosom buddies understood that to quibble over a fully global, life-altering, life-threatening phenomenon or hair-splitting over how to contain it was a fool’s errand, recognizing that the only way to prevent the cure was to deny the problem. It is a strategy that effectively preempts any need to discuss correctives, since no problem actually exists to correct. Well done, shitheads.
An astute part of the calculation was percipience about the rightward masses’ great affection for dogma, and the purification of thought and belief, the taming of interpolating reality through ideology. Once something was a cherished conservative doctrine, reinforced by a warm, enveloping media structure, the faithful would hold it close come hell, or of course, high water, even as it gradually rose above their necks. And the doctrine, now established, is that one or all of these are true: the world isn’t actually warming, humans haven’t made the planet warmer, the evidentiary science is a malicious hoax, and the scientists who provide it charlatans. Who knew?
Today’s atmosphere-befouling petroleum plutocrats and their irrationally anti-regulatory reactionary fellow travellers share a Soviet shamelessness when it comes to the efficacy of propaganda. The way you contend with an abysmal harvest is to simply declare that the harvest was wonderful. If you propagate that version of reality widely enough, and insistently enough in the organs of propaganda in your control, the results can be surprisingly pleasing. Science isn’t a match for dogma, science is inferior to propaganda, especially the official kind, say the kind with the imprimatur of Republican local, state and federally elected officials. The average Soviet citizen of the Twenties and Thirties was a little less easily bamboozled. The dogma of climate denial is practically baked into conservative DNA by now, little conservatives popping out of the womb with cash registers and breathing masks.
What’s remarkable now is how something that started out as visceral greed protection morphed into its Sovietology phase, and finally ended up a very real conviction devoid of intelligence and information.
It has begun to change dramatically now, but until recently, climate evidence was a mess of charts and graphs, data, and the occasional stunning photographic timeline. Only in recent years are the physical manifestations of climate change fully visible and powerfully manifested.
But it doesn’t matter, not to the cadres of the indoctrinated. Come pestilence, drought, tempests, or the Magnolia-like raining of frogs, they long ago were lost at sea.