Paul Krugman cites ecoAmerica on Climate rage

Nytimes logo2 In his online post on Climate Rage yesterday, Paul Krugman cites ecoAmerica's American Climate Values Survey (ACVS). In trying to discern the cause for all the anti-environmental and climate anger, he references the ACVS and it's finding that environmentalism, and climate especially, are feminine. Krugman suggests that this and anti-intellectualism are two culture issues at the heart of the "climate rage."

Posted Dec. 8, 2009
By Paul Krugman, NYTimes

Climate rage

Digby asks why the anti-climate-change types are so angry, then approvingly links to Amanda Marcotte, who says that it’s all about annoying liberals.

I don’t agree, although that’s clearly part of it.

The rage, by the way, is amazing. Nothing gets me as many crazed
emails and comments as any reference to climate change. The
anti-global-warming people are just filled with hate for anyone who
suggests that maybe, just maybe, the vast majority of scientists are
right.

And that in turn suggests that annoying liberals isn’t the whole story; no, they’re not enjoying themselves.

What I think is that we’re looking at two cultural issues.

First, environmentalism is the ultimate “Mommy party” issue. Real
men punish evildoers; they don’t adjust their lifestyles to protect the
planet. (Here’s some polling to that effect.)

Second, climate change runs up against the anti-intellectual streak
in America. Remember, just a few years ago conservatives were
triumphantly proclaiming that Bush was a great president because he didn’t think too much:

Mr. Bush is the triumph of the seemingly average
American man. He’s normal. He thinks in a sort of common-sense way. He
speaks the language of business and sports and politics. You know him.
He’s not exotic. But if there’s a fire on the block, he’ll run out and
help. He’ll help direct the rig to the right house and count the kids
coming out and say, “Where’s Sally?” He’s responsible. He’s not an
intellectual. Intellectuals start all the trouble in the world.

So they’re outraged, furious, at the notion that they have to listen to guys who talk in big words rather than sports metaphors.

Look, there’s a faint echo of all this on the left — people who are
outraged at the idea that we’re going to make saving the planet
basically a business decision, aligning private incentives with
environmental goals so that doing the right thing becomes a profit
opportunity rather than a moral duty. That, I think, is what’s behind
the furor over cap and trade.

But it’s the anti-environmental craziness that matters. An important
part of the population just doesn’t want to believe in the kind of
world in which we have to limit our appetites on the say-so of fancy
experts. And so they angrily deny the whole thing.

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