|In 2012, deniers will still not be Galileo|
What denialist tropes will the cool kids be pushing in 2012?
All the golden oldies will remain in heavy rotation, including slandering scientists, "there's been cooling/no warming for X years," and "there's no consensus." But be on the lookout for the following memes, which are focus testing in the small markets of the comment threads now:
1. It's way too small to make a difference.
It's use is as simple as dividing X by Y. For example, if Jo Nova sadistically murdered eight children, that would be merely an insignificant 0.000000115% of the world's people.
Usable on almost anything the denier wants to dismiss; the emissions caused by the Keystone XL's dirty oil, the Greenland ice lost in a single melting season; the contribution to the grid of a single wind farm.
2. It's too late to do anything.
This is the next logical fail back position after "It's not warming" and "We're not causing it" and "It won't be bad." Expect it to surge among the more refined "skeptics," who are still subject to embarrassment when their original line of bull has been shredded.
3. Misrepresenting the world.
Note: Watch out for the sentence beginning "India and China will never . . . ." What follows is almost always an exercise in wishful thinking.
4. God save the white race!
loathsome, racist vibe off of a lot of deniers these days. I'm not sure why this is making a comeback on the right. More marginalized, less inhibited?
5. Equating inaction with the success of their arguments.
Deniers are less important than people concerned about inaction think, and much less important than they think they are. They cast themselves (and sometimes we, their opponents, collude in this) as the primary reason the world has not taken action to fight climate change, but here's what we know:
* Denialists have, through two years of relentlessly promoting the fake scandal "Climategate," left 75% of the public blissfully unaware of their anger and striving. 75% of Americans have never heard of "Climategate."
* Those that vehemently deny global warming consistently poll between 10-15% of the public. Of those, less than 5% admit to ever posting a comment about the subject online. So the highly visible fringe of the denialist movement represents a small minority of a small minority, talking mostly back and forth to each other. When they tell you more and more people are flocking to their banner, laugh.
* It's no mystery why Americans and the rest of the world haven't taken the right steps to fight global warming, the steps everyone is going to wish had been taken sixty years from now. It's a long-term problem. Is our political system good at those? It requires a certain degree of scientific literacy just to wrap your mind around it. Is that one of our strong points?
Special bonus prediction: Combining memes 1-4, 2012 will see a surge in the "Our emissions don't matter; the global South's emissions will soon dwarf ours." (Not true, poorer countries emission are important and will become the majority of emissions, but rich countries will maintain a large minority share but when has that ever stopped them?)