Climate change/global warming scares me. Naomi Klein scares the hell out of me. Have you read her latest article in the Nation? "Capitalism v. the Climate" was my morning reading today and she didn't disappoint. I have heard her on Maddow, read her tweets on Twitter, and read some of her articles. Frankly, as a father of three, I'm too scared to read The Shock Doctrine. Sorry Naomi, nothing personal, but, crap, if you are right, I'm not sure I want my children having children.
I think what really scares me about "Capitalism v. the Climate" is her documentation of the dramatic shift in the last ten years of people's opinions about the reality of global warming. Less than ten years ago 70% of the people in this country believed the fact that there was global warming. Now, less than half believe it. Ugh. Gut punch.
I've written in my rarely read diaries how I believe that the "left" has massively underestimated the control of right wing media on the thought processes of good, well-meaning middle class people in this country. Anecdotally, down here in Texas, I can point to how so many "well-educated" men and women believe in, well, lies. They truely believe that President Obama is a socialist (maybe even a communist); they believe the main stream media (like NBC and the New York Times) are leftist organizations; they believe privatization is good and the government is bad (even though most of them are either government employees or rely on government funding); and I can go on and on.
One of my best friends is a climate change denier. As I sit here on November 13 anticipating another 80 plus degree day (I walked my dog this morning in flip-flops), he ardently believes that climate change is an Al Gore creation. He points to the hypocritical nature of Al Gore's mansion as his proof. Even though both our yards feature flower blooms of plants thinking we are already in spring, he points to freak snow storms on the east coast and laughs: "Silly liberals."
Why do my friends and neighbors believe this stuff? The only explanation I have is that they listen to Fox radio, Fox news, and the one daily newspaper in our market - in the name of balanced coverage - will allow blatant right wing lies and stereotypes to be published in the letters to the editor, columns, and yes even the comics (ever read Mallard Fillmore?).
So that's what scares me. That in the 21st century, we can still be manipulated into mass delusions. We can be scared into believing that despite actions to the contrary our neighbors are Nazis and Collectivists (at the same time) conspiring to wage war on capitalism. (See my previous diary.)
Naomi, write on. You scare the hell out of me, but write on. Maybe one day my friends and neighbors will pay attention - no matter how scary it is.
11:36 AM PT: Appreciate the rec's everyone... humbling.