Denial Means Never Having to Turn Down the Thermostat

Posted on May 7, 2010


Thermostat? Not me, I'm Republican.

Obviously, I am not a fan of conservatism.

I had the delight of quoting Margaret Thatcher just the other morning, but not because I expected to hear the elephantine thunder of our conservative brethren suddenly shifting over to caring about the planet.

And not because I otherwise rely on the Iron Lady’s philosophies.

Simply because evidence is evidence, wherever you gather it.

When the Republican senators nominate British eccentric and erstwhile clown Lord Monckton to represent their view of the state of climate science, I will call on even Maggie for the defence.

As to my general and continuing attitude toward conservatism, Maggie quotes aside …

I read in the science news the other day about a program in California where homeowners are informed about their energy use.  This resulted in an overall decline in energy use, some of it, I guess, having to do with people just wanting to trim a percentage off their energy bill.  But it didn’t hurt that you could lower your bills, and at the same time show yourself a citizen concerned about your impact on the planet.

Of course, beyond penny-pinching, we’re talking about a particular group of people here, some of whom might actually care about the fate of the planet more than other people.  You know, people like Democrats(!), independents, weirdo eco-freaks.

Among Republicans the information had less effect than on others.  (What? Republicans don’t penny-pinch?)  Many made no adjustments.  Some even increased their energy use.

Why should we? (I can almost hear these eco-anarchists ask.)  Climate change is not happening.  You can’t make me turn the thermostat down.  See?  I’m going to turn it up.

There we have the point to climate change denial.

Never having to turn down your thermostat.

You mop the floor, I’ll go outside and track in more mud.

Here again is why I am not a fan of conservatism.

What the news tells me—which, honestly, I have always felt anyway—is that conservatism, in its public, social expression as social conservatism (where climate change denial fits) is not just a difference of opinion, it is—in some aspects and manifestations—a profound moral failing.