There are a lot of very good reasons to hope that this modern American “conservativism” will be rejected by a majority of voters for the next few elections. But climate change is the most important of them. Tough enough to get anything done with the power of business lobbyists influencing Dems in government but add in the anti-intellectualism of the modern right and we end up with just about the worst possible combination of factors blocking both perception and action.
But the larger reason we’re ignoring climate change is that Al Gore was right: This truth is just too inconvenient. Responding to climate change with the vigor that the threat deserves would not, contrary to legend, be devastating for the economy as a whole. But it would shuffle the economic deck, hurting some powerful vested interests even as it created new economic opportunities. And the industries of the past have armies of lobbyists in place right now; the industries of the future don’t.
Nor is it just a matter of vested interests. It’s also a matter of vested ideas. For three decades the dominant political ideology in America has extolled private enterprise and denigrated government, but climate change is a problem that can only be addressed through government action. And rather than concede the limits of their philosophy, many on the right have chosen to deny that the problem exists. full piece here