I had a nightmare about deniers. Truth deniers, and how honest people can get drawn to them.
My field of speciality is a big muddy field: humankind’s collective denial (by their actions) that there’s any real climate problem. In this muddy field it’s important to remember there are two very distinct types of ‘denier’ animal that you will encounter. With totally different response strategies needed.
Actually “doubt pusher” may be a better name than ‘denier’. Get this:
Doubt is a popular feel-good drug.
Whether we seek escape from the pain of being part of the species that ‘allowed’ the holocaust, or escape from the dull ache that we are now complicit in mass suicide and the future deaths of billions including our own children, we seek escape, distraction, cold comfort.
These are big emotional ‘charges’ in the air Dave! But watch out when the climate taboo next crops up in polite conversation. We are talking about (or not talking out) latent near-universal abuse of our own children’s Home planet. Hardly small talk.
So what are these two types:
My hero Miles Kington used to say “There are two types of people in this world. People who divide people into two types. And people who don’t.” Think about it. I honestly don’t know why but this is one of my favourite sayings of all time!
Type 1 (or Class A!) Upstream – misanthropic – clever – bad – aware they are wrong – the doubt pushers
Type 2 (or Class B) The carefully selected victims and prey of Type 1’s: infected and used – the smidgeon of doubt addicts
Now it turns out that doubt takers, soon become doubt addicts, and some fast become doubt pedlars. (And of course some pedlars become pushers.)
Pedlars of doubt experience new found or fresh popularity – for the welcome relief they bring (e.g. at dinner parties) to the throbbing headache of dealing with the climate reality backlog. Think David Bellamy – one of my childhood heroes – and someone I still believe to be a good man.
I don’t think there are that many Class A’s left – but they are very toxic – very clever – motivated – and often superb at hiding what they do.
All we can do is help expose them, and hold them to what they have said.
And we need to hope less Class B’s will get infected/poisoned/duped. Which is more likely if we love them. (Class A’s are usually immune to this tactic.) This is a big learning point. You won’t love a Class A into the light.
What also gives me hope is belief that someone like Ann Widdecombe is not rotten to the core, she’s just been duped. (Not at all easy to do in her case, and certainly not easy for her to admit.) She will get there eventually. She might want to listen to the Archbishop of Canterbury. He doesn’t suffer fossil fools easily.
Dominic Lawson though – I struggle to give him benefit of doubt. Maybe I’m wrong. But I sense a man who justifies his immoral stance as being in some way ‘right’. Extreme right maybe! History will judge Class A’s harshly, very harshly indeed.
All we can do is calmly and courageously expose them, and hold them to what they have said.
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