Hating On The Eggheads

by digby

Krugman responds to my query about why the right is so angry about the existence of climate change and disagrees that it's all about bugging the liberals. He thinks it's something a little bit different:

What I think is that we’re looking at two cultural issues.

First, environmentalism is the ultimate “Mommy party” issue. Real men punish evildoers; they don’t adjust their lifestyles to protect the planet. (Here’s some polling to that effect.)

Second, climate change runs up against the anti-intellectual streak in America. Remember, just a few years ago conservatives were triumphantly proclaiming that Bush was a great president because he didn’t think too much:

Mr. Bush is the triumph of the seemingly average American man. He’s normal. He thinks in a sort of common-sense way. He speaks the language of business and sports and politics. You know him. He’s not exotic. But if there’s a fire on the block, he’ll run out and help. He’ll help direct the rig to the right house and count the kids coming out and say, “Where’s Sally?” He’s responsible. He’s not an intellectual. Intellectuals start all the trouble in the world.

So they’re outraged, furious, at the notion that they have to listen to guys who talk in big words rather than sports metaphors.

I think that's right. And that's also why they love listening to people like this:

"I'm not an Al Gore, gloom and doom environmentalist blaming the changes in our climate on human activity"

It probably isn't a coincidence either that the two "regular guys" beloved by the anti-intellectual wingnuts also happen to be tools of Big Energy. They are just as dumb as they seem, I have no doubt, so they aren't being deviously clever. But the big oil people have found these dolts to be very useful at manipulating the fervent right fringe into believing that the point headed scientists just ain't all that when it comes to global warming.