A tweet from Steve Milloy:
Milloy, for anyone unfamiliar with him, is the “Junk Science Man”, i.e. someone who takes money from the likes of fossil fuel and tobacco companies to spout a line of piffle. Exposing Junk Science is his name, Peddling Junk Science is his game.
He is also, as you can see from the tweet above, a man deeply concerned about the plight of the poor. Concern for the poor, you see, is something that simply oozes out of the hearts of right-wing climate change deniers/skeptics/lukewarmers.. That is when they are talking about climate change.
Taking serious efforts to reduce global emissions…. this will hurt the poor in Africa.
Taking serious efforts to reduce emissions in Britain…. this will hurt the poor in Britain by making them to pay more for energy.
Bring up climate change, and these people will rush to defend the interests of the poor. It’s the first port of call. Bring up welfare, the state of public health provision, foreign aid, disability benefits, free school meals, inequality, the state of public housing, and this concern for the poor is absent. In fact, bring up these other issues, and these bleeding hearts will be in a mad rush to do all they can to screw the poor.
So, it is perfectly consistent for someone to complain that acting on climate change will harm the poor in Africa while demanding that Britain stops all aid to poor Africa countries. It is perfectly consistent to complain about the impact of renewable energy costs on the poor while opposing government subsidies to insulate the houses of the poor.
It is perfectly consistent to complain about rich land owners making money from wind farms, while you yourself being a rich landowner who makes money from coal mining on the land you inherited.
So, here is a challenge for a social scientist. I have a hypothesis and I believe it needs to be tested.
Here it is
Right wing climate change deniers/skeptics/lukewarmers show orders of magnitude more concern for the poor when they are writing about climate change than any other issue
This hypothesis can easily be tested by compiling the inconsistent and hypocritical comment pieces by Matt Ridley, the land owner referenced above, et al.
Of course, like all good hypotheses, it can be refuted. But somehow I don’t think it will be.