Liberal Climate Change Outlook

How are liberal climate change policies determined? Why are conservatives so often opposed to action to deal with climate change? There is a particular explanation of the two points of view that I keep running across. I generally see pieces of it expressed, but here is my summary of the entire argument:

Liberals either invented climate change or exaggerated its importance, so that they could take advantage of it to advance their true agenda, which is big government. Conservatives want small government with lower taxes and less regulation of business, so they resist anything that would require government intervention.

There is no mention of the fact that conservatives, to a greater degree than liberals, are heavily influenced by funding from fossil fuel companies. We are supposed to think that conservatives act from their tenet of small government. Ideologies are never that pure in real life. Might it be that coal and oil companies want to continue making profits unhampered by concerns for public health or the environment, and somehow convince politicians that they should say that the science is unclear?

The goal of liberal climate policy is not big government. Liberals have many goals—human rights, civil rights, a safe and clean environment for future generations—and they consider government regulations a practical tool to accomplish those things. There are other tools that work. For instance, public pressure can force companies to cease harmful activities, and people can be educated in how to use energy more efficiently.

Liberal Climate BiasNo one invented climate change. Scientists discovered what it is and how it happens, and devised ways to make accurate projections of its effects on us. They have also established that human activity is the cause. That means that the climate will not begin to resume a more normal course until we stop dumping greenhouse gases into the air. We know how to start dealing with it. We have shown that cap and trade can be effective, and so can taxes on carbon emissions. What matters is not whether our solutions are liberal or conservative, but whether they work.

Title image credit: Grist.
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6 thoughts on “Liberal Climate Change Outlook

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  1. Thanks, Max! Yes, I am writing a book dealing with my philosophy, and how I came to believe as I do. It’s the story of my “loss of faith,” although I didn’t really lose it. I know exactly where it went: I exercised it until it self-destructed. I guess you could say it evaporated in the strong light of reason. You can get a good idea of its nature from reading my posts here under the “Spiritual” category, and the pages under the Sentient Life tab.

    1. Great. I’ll check out your posts and will certainly read your book when published.

      I know exactly where it went: I exercised it until it self-destructed. I guess you could say it evaporated in the strong light of reason.

      It appears we are comrades in our evolution from theism, and our enlightenment inspired inspired us to write a philosophical novel. Mine is The Empathy Imperative.

      As a means of demonstrating Christianity’s (especially fundamentalist Christianity’s) complete disconnect between what it believes about justice, mercy, and love and its belief that the god of the Bible was just, merciful, and loving, I decided that the best vehicle for such a demonstration would be biblical literality.

      My protagonist is my alter ego and is quite unimpressed when the Tribulation begins, even as he becomes a target in a political/religious purge of liberal educators as politicians work feverishly to prove they are worthy of salvation.

      I made my protagonist a professor of evolutionary biology and philosophy in order to elucidate what it would take for the Bible to be true (sans contradictions), and evolutionary biology to be false while appearing to be true.

      The overall thrust was to demonstrate the absurdity of biblical literality and what the world would be like if universal empathy, not religion or self-interest, were our primary motivating force. (Think John Lennon’s Imagine.)

      It took me about 10 years to write it (an off and on process) and wound up being 452 pages, including front matter. It was too large at first, and I deleted 135,000 words to shorten it to ~154,000 words. That was painful, but necessary.

      I self-published without even trying to go through the conventional process because I wanted to retain all rights and, since I was 70 years old, I didn’t want to take the many months necessary to go though the conventional process–even if a publisher accepted the manuscript.

      You can read the preface at my blog, http://thebenevolentthou.com/page/3/, and a sample chapter at http://thebenevolentthou.com/2014/08/19/free-chapter-of-the-empathy-imperative-a-philosophicaltheological-novel/

      My Author site is http://maxfurr.com, which provides the preface as well.

      I know you are having fun writing your novel because I did with mine. It was a true labor of love (and obsession). The real work begins, of course, after publication (if you self publish) in advertising. I look forward to reading it.

    1. Thanks for the heads up, Max, that is exactly what happened. Comments with more than one link were being exiled. I have restored your reply, and changed the settings so that comments can now contain up to four links.

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