Conservatives continue to fight against any environmental remediation, and even deny that there is a problem to fix. Whether they believe any of this themselves or not, they whip up popular support for their ideas using a powerful type of psychological inertia that almost defines conservatism itself. People have a sturdy bias against change called the status quo bias, that helps them prefer the comfort of the known and reject the new. Nevertheless, when the old way of thinking becomes irrelevant, and the new way has taken hold, resistance to change simply dies out. This has happened already for many things, such as the health risks of smoking.
For climate change, however, there is another obstacle that is more economic in nature. Conservatives prefer to keep their money, and wish to preserve the energy industries they have investments in, such as gas and coal. To this end, they will invoke just about any pseudoscientific nonsense to support their case. They will also bring to bear additional political effort that the new ideas must struggle against, and which will likely delay progress.
In spite of the opposition to climate change and to any remediation proposed, alternative energy industries are flourishing, and will help drive society forward. I find this trend heartening, as we need these technologies to come to the fore and wean us away from fossil fuels as soon as possible. It is wonderful that so many people are investing in new energy sources and helping to make the change. As it becomes more and more common to see hybrid cars and solar panels, these energy sources will be accepted as normal, and society will move forward a step or two. I applaud the efforts of these pioneers and rejoice.
Here’s a list compiled by the Huffington Post of environmental successes to celebrate.
- A major Canadian pipeline was canceled by the US
- a groundbreaking climate deal was agreed to in Paris
- solar and wind costs have plummeted
- gasoline is now $2 per gallon or less
- some of coal’s largest corporations have gone bankrupt
- the US has cut imports of foreign oil by nearly 60%.
- Additionally, solar employment continues its 20% annual growth rate, providing more jobs than oil and gas extraction.
- Even though fossil fuels are currently cheap, clean energy industries are expanding due to tax credits extended by the government, and the encouragement of the clean energy market brought about by the Paris agreement.
- California leads the country in clean energy, and has created new policies to boost rooftop solar energy.
I am looking forward to Spring.
Copyright © 2016 Teresa Chupp. All rights reserved.