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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

 
A heartfelt apology to conservatives on the subject of climate change

by David Atkins

Dear conservatives,

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize deeply on behalf of climate science.

I'm sorry that your worldview is deeply inconvenienced by the harsh realities involved. You're right: if climate change is real and man-made--which it certainly is--then the libertarian ideology you conservatives hew to so steadfastly requires rethinking. I know Ayn Rand's ghost would blanche at the thought, but take heart: she didn't believe in an afterlife, anyway.

As you know, conservatism is inherently reactive rather than proactive about any problem that doesn't involve killing foreigners, controlling women or preventing undesirables from voting. For all other matters of importance, conservatism requires standing athwart the history of human progress and yelling "stop!" to all of us altruistic, proactive bleeding hearts and do-gooders.

For instance, libertarian economics requires that instead of proactively regulating corporate activity that might hurt people, consumers punish a company reactively after it has done something wrong, and after consumers notice that said company has done so. But if companies and consumers are doing something wrong that nobody really notices until it's far, far too late to do anything about, that's a real fly in the ointment. I apologize for that. It's quite inconvenient to you, I know.

But then, life does have a habit of taking wrong and immoral assumptions about the world, and demonstrating just how wrong and immoral they are. Sadly, that also includes libertarian economics. Most of us learn this lesson about life while growing up sometime in our teens, but I understand that it may take time for those of us who never overcame our adolescent fascination with Atlas Shrugged to pick up a novel by an actual writer like Dickens or Steinbeck, instead. It's tough.

Finally, I apologize that reality cannot be made to conform to your pet worldviews and objectivist utopian fantasies. As you know, life is a scary place with deluded, grasping parasites lurking around every corner. Someday you may even learn not to be ones. In the meantime, please accept this apology on behalf of reality and science everywhere.

Sincerely yours,
David Atkins


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