Using My Time Machine to Fix Right Wing Views on Climate

Ha! Tricked you all! This is a post about Larry Correia again! Larry has suddenly decided that he is really into more literary science-fiction and is making an assertive defence of Dan Simmons.

Simmons (an author whose books I do actively seek out) went off an a bit of anti-Greta Thunberg thung on Facebook. Many people objected. There was a post at File 770 about it: http://file770.com/dan-simmons-criticized-for-remarks-about-thunberg/

Larry, who has made a point of stating how he nor very few other people read File 770 apparently read the post and was unhappy with people being unhappy with Simmons and discovered that he is a big fan of Simmons. Is it their mutual love of John Keats or the their shared interest in Proust? Larry doesn’t say. He does claim that File 770’s post critical of Simmons led to Simmon’s novel Hyperion being “number one” on Amazon.

However, I want to focus on a particular criticism of Greta Thunberg that I’ve seen from Simmons, Correia, and other right wing science fiction writers:

“Oh yeah, and it’s the ultimate Motte and Bailey play, because they can put an uneducated teenager with no scientific creds at all in front of one of the biggest government bodies in the world to demand socialism now or else, and when you go LOL WUT they switch to We Just Want A Clean Environment Why Do You Hate Children. It’s total bullshit.”

OK, there’s a germ of a point there – after all Greta Thunberg isn’t a climate scientist. How about instead of a school kid they got the most relevant and credentialed scientists up there instead! [Yes, we will ignore that Thunberg was speaking at a youth conference with multiple amazing young people trying to make their world a better place https://www.insider.com/greta-thunberg-activists-climate-change-who-are-they-2019-9 ]

OK but I can fix that with my time machine. Clearly what these authors need to see is not kids but scientists. Show them authoritative people, who know their stuff and the whole “no scientific creds” issue is dealt with. Yet, it’s no good doing it now when the warming is already substantial. I need to CHANGE THE PAST! Instead of scolding these guys they want hard science and reason and they need it years ago!

OK – to my time machine! I’ll be right back!

[weird groaning noises as if a Tardis is dematerialising and then rematerialising which are then revealed to be a fat cat snoring…]

Phew! Fixed it! I’ve changed the timeline! I went all the way back to 1988! Hopefully enough time to change everybody’s mind! Instead of scolding people I changed the past so the UN got together an international panel on climate change with experts from around the world! If you check Wikipedia you can now see in our new timeline an entry on the IPCC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergovernmental_Panel_on_Climate_Change

What’s that you say? My new amazing timeline with the UN promoting highly credentialed scientists to explain the detailed science of climate change for the past 30 odd years is EXACTLY the same? But, but, that’s not possible! For that to be true it would almost have to be that these conservatives never gave two shits about the science and where just moaning about credentials because Greta Thunberg was actually making a difference and got climate change and global warming back into the headlines!

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42 responses to “Using My Time Machine to Fix Right Wing Views on Climate”

  1. Sarcasm ill becomes you, sir!
    Just kidding, you do it very well.
    I’m willing to bet the people who freak out at the young lady’s opinions don’t object when some right-winger announces “I’m not a doctor, it’s just my opinion” that the Pill is an abortifacent or similar asshat statements.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I thought the Proust bit was pushing it but given the years of reverse literary-snobbery from Correia, I decided it was fair enough. I know lots of people (including myself) read widely and I’m sure many of his fans will actually enjoy Simmons’s work but much of it is close to what he’s been complaining about aside from the politics.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Scientists: The climate is changing. Here’s the proof. We studied this for decades!

    Conservatives: Hoax! Cult! Crisis Actor! Fake News!

    Young people: The climate is changing and it’s all your fault!

    Conservatives: What do you know? You’re not a Scientist!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Because government fixing stuff is SOCIALISM! From the tone of your voice (OK, OK, the tone of your comment, but I can interpret how your voice would sound if you were, in fact, speaking instead of typing) it is clear that you are, in fact, a SOCIALIST! And while we’re at it, more exclamation points!!!

      Liked by 5 people

    • Yes, the socialism bit threw me as well, because however you feel about Greta Thunberg’s speech, nowhere did she demand socialism now. But maybe Larry has caught the “seeing socialists under the bed” virus that has infected Sarah Hoyt for years now.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Naomi Klein makes a pretty good argument that conservatives aren’t completely off base here in This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. To meaningfully confront the effects of climate change, we are going to have to substantially change the economic logic we currently work under, one that depends on infinite expansion. Conservatives have recognized this and don’t want to see that occur. Socialism is just the name attached to that substantial transformation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sceptical of that because as climate change intensifies the more overt government interventions there will be as immediate reactions to disasters etc. Preserving the myth of capitalism would require small change/intervention early rather than big change late.

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      • Except that would be.a failure of imagination by “conservatives” – economic growth doesn’t necessarily entail increasing energy usage nevermind increasing fossil fuel usage – that’s a very Soviet/Maoist mistake.

        Liked by 3 people

      • You could do climate in a capitalistic system if you in fact attach more cost tags to environmental usage and damage (Such as, oh, a carbon tax), and reimbursement tags to restoration and mitigation. They do involve, of necessity, a government body controlling how those tags are distributed, and apparently giving the government any power over corporations is seen as socialism even if the power in question is that of regulation, which has been standard capitalistic order of business for well over a century.

        Whether you can do it under the conservative/right wing concept of a minimally intrusive government body is another issue, though, and these are the types who scream socialism as any governmental intervention or regulation at all (Except on womens’ bodies or police actions).

        Liked by 2 people

      • I think the problem here isn’t the question of more or less government intervention but the logic of infinite expansion and accumulation that is at the heart of the capitalist world system. That fundamental logic has to change or we aren’t going to see a resolution of the problem.

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  3. Why on earth does Brad Torgersen think Dan Simmon’s “credentials” on climate change are “unimpeachable”? Sorry for the over use of quotes, but you know… right wing nut bags.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know people who think Michael Crichton must be right about climate change fearmongering in State of Fear because he does his research! He knows!

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    • Oh that’s easy: Torgersen is not very smart and doesn’t really know much about actual science. Among other things, he claims to write “hard” science fiction, but routinely gets basic science wrong in his stories.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. So Simmons, an English major, has turned anti-science climate change denier and is against Greta because she’s saying politicians should listen to the scientists? Sounds like Simmons has some grudges against some scientists.

    The millenials and Gen Z are larger than the boomers and Gen X both worldwide and in the U.S. They’re conservation minded and like green products. There is a ton of money and jobs to be made in green tech, renewable energy, reforestation, etc., with lots of new jobs. It’s going on right now. And yet the right gets more and more anti-capitalism, wanting to impoverish the customer base, stagnate science, destroy education for new scientists and decay infrastructure. I’d call it regressive except that they don’t even like industry or agriculture — they support policies to gut manufacturing and wipe out small farms and rural towns. They are so against so much research going on in science right now. It’s sad.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. TBH, I’ve just started considering the modern right-wing to be nihilists. I don’t feel sorry for them at all but their existential pain and dread is a sucking wound that can never be fixed. No wonder they are so angry and take what pleaure tey can find in hurting others. To them, none of it actually matters in the end and so they are enraged by people who do care and who do try.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, so much of what the right agitates for is so completely beyond the pale. This isn’t about being pro-business or pro-economic growth, it’s an irrational commitment to self-harm. It’s a mindset that is willing to destroy everything (up to snd including the habitability of the Earth) for the sake of owning the libs.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I blame (some of) it on human exceptionalism – the view that humans are the purpose of the universe and that the universe owes us a living, which leads to the conclusion that something must stop the climate changing to our detriment. Campbell might be horrified – I’ve always interpreted The Cold Equations, for all its flaws in execution, as being aimed at that attitude, but perhaps the right instead interprets it as valorising hard men making hard decisions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • For the religious right, there’s a school of thought that environmentalism = pagan nature worship and must be opposed at all costs. Not particularly logical, but it’s there.

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  6. Case in point, a writer at The Federalist tries to tie Thunberg to “Sexualized dances, psychedelic hallucinogens, worshiping nature, confessing sins in pagan animism, worshiping purified teen saints, and throwing them up on an altar, bereft of their childhood, to promote a greater cause.” (http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2019/09/26/the-federalist-greta-thunberg-is-the-patron-saint-of-drug-using-booty-shaking-occultist-apocalyptic-climate-paganism/)

    Liked by 1 person

      • The Federalist is a remarkable magazine. Who can forget such insights as “The Handmaid’s Tale tells us why gay marriage is bad,” the female editor in chief who says women shouldn’t have careers, or the article that implied folding when faced with a royal flush is a mistake.

        Liked by 4 people

    • Well that’s because they’re trying to paint her as the child tool of European hippie parents — essentially time traveling Greta’s parents back as well. The hippies were denounced as:

      disrespectful and anti-religious young people who were misled in their thinking
      weak because anti-war
      tree-hugging meddlers against big business
      know-nothings pretending to be experts

      Etc. The rhetoric never changes. Simmons’ old man rant seeks to dismiss what Greta is urging — politicians listen to scientists and take steps they recommend to combat climate change effects — as illegitimate, so he dismisses her as illegitimate, as to be ignored — and shut up. Denounce the speaker and you’ve somehow denounced the message. But if Greta went home tomorrow and stop campaigning, there are thirty other prominent teen climate activists still going. (Little Ms. Flint is still trying to get clean water to her region.) And there is a massive movement of adults even if all the teens — who will be adults and voters in a handful of years — drifted off. 500,000 people just marched for climate change activism in Montreal. I’m sure folk with Simmons’ view that we should all die of coal smoke and floods figure such activism will die off again, but those pesky scientists keep speaking up too.

      Greta’s whole message is that she is not important; the problem is, the science is, and politicians are failing to deal with the problem and offering lame excuses for their failure. Dismissing her one voice as a “bratty child” isn’t going to drown that message, much as Simmons’ authoritarian heart might desire it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The funny thing is that European right-wingers seem to be ahead of their American counterparts, in the sense that they’ve accepted climate change for the most part and are using it to justify kicking out immigrants et cetera.
        There is a particular school of thought which suggests that producing more renewable energy in one’s own country means less reliance on others, which is quite compelling to white supremacists who Believe that other countries are screwing over Europe and America in regards to gas oil and coal so I expect the Green wave will eventually reach the right at some point probably with the alt right which doesn’t seem to be so in slaved to corporate interests.

        Liked by 2 people

        • A couple of bloggers were predicting this a while back: people who can’t get behind “stop climate change to save people” will be fine with “stop the effects of climate change by keeping America for Americans.”

          Liked by 1 person

      • ” Denounce the speaker and you’ve somehow denounced the message.” Only liberal speakers. If you catch conservatives not living up to their supposed values, the response is “Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue!”

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, some European rightwingers seem to have embraced the (equally idiotic) claim that Africans caused climate change by having too many babies. However, there are also plenty of climate change deniers and ant-environmentalists among the European far right.

        Just today, the far right AfD in Germany declared that they would make being anti-anti-climate change the third pillar of their program in addition to “We hate immigrants and refugees” and “We hate the Euro.” And the AfD is particularly strong in regions where the extremely harmful lignite coal is stripmined and indeed, “But if we stop mining lingite coal earlier, even more people will vote for far right parties” is one of the arguments used against not banning lignite coal at once.

        The yellow vest protests in France started as protest against higher taxes on fuel and energy to combat climate change and quickly turned towards the far right, too (or likely were there all the time). So there is a definite link between the far right and being anti-anti-climate change in Europe as well, though our mainstream conservative parties are usually in favour of implementing measures against climate change.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Europeans aren’t dealing with scavenger libertarian oligarchal capitalist societies; they’re dealing with oligarchal social democracies of various kinds. And they don’t have a lot of member countries pumping out oil as a major industry, unlike the U.S. and Canada. There’s Britain, and Britain’s far right waffles back and forth about whether climate change exists. Renewable energy and other lucrative industries built on green tech are already much further advanced in Europe. So European countries’ far right groups move on to we should prepare to profit by hoarding resources for the coming collapse. That’s going on in North America too — the long tradition of preppers and the anti-immigration drumbeating — but they throw in more of a religious cast on to it — their god wants them to have all the resources for the white people.

        So instead of saying the threat doesn’t exist, be nice to oil companies, the European groups say the threat does exist and that’s the threat that means we should be an authoritarian dictatorship that destroys outsiders, especially non-whites who are inferior. The important thing is, they should be in charge and any who challenge them should be ignored and discounted — scientists, teenagers, etc. They also believe that having mass slaughter of desperate climate refugees is going to be fun and be the way to consolidate tyrannical rule and prove moral worth in our shrinking, desiccated land masses. It’s just slightly different buttons to push but mainly the same rhetoric.

        So many of them have these fantasies that the oligarchs will terraform Mars and they’ll get to live there and not be serfs, or there will be robot bodies and VR theme parks, but at the same time, they’re clinging to the combustion engine and fighting developments in agriculture and land management that are critical to developing terraforming. The more you solve problems so that more people can live and thrive, the less hierarchy you have, so the far right is deeply invested in not solving problems and if forced, solving them in a way that lets them keep tight control over the solution so they can have a dictatorship. That’s why social justice terrifies them so much — having a socially just society without robber barons means resources and opportunities are shared, not doled out according to a caste system that gives them a high status identity.

        Basically, all of the far right wants to be Immortan Joe from Mad Max: Fury Road.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. The problem with wanting to be Immortan Joe is that there already is an Immortan Joe. And he’s not the kind that likes to share.

    They remind me more of Renfield in Dracula. Their masters promise them power in return for their worship and so they do their masters’ bidding even though it leads them to act against their own interests. Their masters really don’t care about them and will never share power with their useful idiots.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Renfield was mind-controlled by Dracula though, so that’s not as fair. They’re more like Nicholas Hoult’s character Nux in Fury Road. He’s dying, killed by the far right’s nuclear obsession and then what Imorten Joe does to him, but he worships Joe as a demi-god dear leader and works against his own life in the belief of the cult that he’ll go to “Valhalla” in his death. He has a special status as one of the beserker soldiers and that is his whole identity until he’s forced away from his society and learns there are different ways to live that are better; he believes he will be like Immortan Joe or near enough, part of a special group that will eventually get their promised share.

      And that’s how the far right works — you’re in the special group and the marginalized Other is coming to take your promised share and tell you that you aren’t special, that what you’ve clung to for your identity is a lie, that your status is unmerited and doesn’t mean you are part of the powerful. “Communists” are coming to take your promised share by cheating, “socialists,” black people, feminist women, etc. They go into the rural areas that they’ve beggared and tell them the beggaring comes from their promised share being given to the city people, immigrants, the government, the international community, etc. They throw some coins at them or “favors” and promise more and then blame the Other when it doesn’t come.

      We know this, statistics have been compiled on it for decades, science has documented the process in study after study. But it’s very hard to give up status, especially if doing so means you feel you’ll be seen as immoral, as against the constructed identity, if you validate the grievances of the Other who are targeted.

      Greta and her fellow youths don’t accept the far right’s claim of status over the scientists. They bald-faced reject the con. They refuse to shut up. And what’s interesting about this is the only reason that many countries do any consumer recycling at all is because of school kids and teens — they learned about conservation and they went and bugged their parents who went and bugged officials. And then people have green bins and blue bins and we’re having policy discussions about how to deal with plastic waste. Young people plant trees, they participate in clean-up campaigns of beaches, water-ways and parks, they help grow food for food banks, they raise Monarch caterpillars, they participate in rural 4H Clubs that teach them soil and water conservation. There are a bunch of teens changing farming practices and saving the rainforest in Madagascar at the moment. And the Internet lets all these kids connect and organize way more in the last twenty years than ever before.

      You can beat and kill kid conservation activists. But it’s hard to do that and claim superior moral righteousness on the public stage, locally or globally. It’s harder to keep all the Nuxs on your side if you do that, promised share or no. So they just take verbal potshots, aimed at saying no one should take kids seriously, that they don’t understand anything. But teens have always been on the forefront of environmentalism (and often civil rights) and they’ve caused the biggest changes. They aren’t worried about the consequences of telling adults that they are failing.

      The furor over Simmons’ tweet comment isn’t that what he’s saying makes any sense about Greta. It’s that a well known science fiction writer, a former teacher as well, is anti-science — and dismissing teens interested in science and conservationism as the ice caps melt and critical forests are on fire. He tried to play Immortan Joe and Greta is Furiosa.

      Liked by 2 people

      • When you put it that way, yes, that is a better analogy. I shall stop referring to them as Renfields they are WarBoys. As funny as it is to imagine Simmons eating bugs and pining for a cat, it’s just as silly to imagine him spraying his teeth chrome and shouting WITNESS ME!!! before sitting at his desk and typing his rants. (This also works as a caption for the cover of a recent collection of short stories by a prominent Sad Pup.)

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m torn on GT being a spokesperson. Here are thr pros and cons:

    PRO

    -Its good that you people’s views get heard in the media
    -Its especially good given they have even more of a stake in the health of the environment

    CON

    -It can’t be an easier to go through normal human development into adulthood with a media circus around you

    -Where are the adults? Shouldn’t an adult spokesperson be stepping up so the kid doesn’t have to be the one getting attacked?

    -Why is it that the media are picking up on a kid as the iconic person of the movement? Is it that more qualified spokesperson are not as marketable? Is this….going ot be about sales again? How long till GT becomes a brand? . What does that say about the media and us as consumers of the media…

    Like

    • Wow that one was full of typos. Here we go again:

      I’m torn on GT being a spokesperson. Here are the pros and cons:

      PRO

      -Its good that young people’s views get heard in the media
      -Its especially good given they have even more of a stake in the health of the environment

      CON

      -It can’t be an easier to go through normal human development into adulthood with a media circus around you
      -Where are the adults? Shouldn’t an adult spokesperson be stepping up so the kid doesn’t have to be the one getting attacked?
      -Why is it that the media are picking up on a kid as the iconic person of the movement? Is it that more qualified spokesperson are not as marketable? Is this….going ot be about sales again? How long till GT becomes a brand? . What does that say about the media and us as consumers of the media…

      Like

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