October 18, 2010

On wishing to be wrong

Chart by way of wikipedia.

There are times when one would like to be right. There are also times when one would like to be wrong. One thing that El Cabrero would REALLY like to be wrong about is the reality of climate change.

I'm not kidding. I'd like to be foam-at-mouth-howl-at-moon-bat-excrement-crazy-wrong about this. Alas, I have the feeling that at least this time I'm not and that climate change has that characteristic of reality that if one ignores it, it won't go away.

There are any number of ironies about thinking this way in West Virginia, where pretty much all of the state's political leaders have a vested interest in denial. This means that, consciously or not, they can basically be counted on to do all that is within their power to insure a miserable future for humanity--even the ones who know better.

I just finished reading (really, listening to) an interesting book by Amanda Ripley titled The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes--and Why. Based on a pretty extensive investigation, Ripley says that people go through a three stage process when REALLY BAD things happen.

The first is denial. The second is deliberation. The third is action. Unfortunately, the smart money as far as I can see is on getting stuck too long in the first stage.


INCOME INEQUALITY is getting too big to ignore.

IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE. A new report by the WV Center on Budget and Policy argues that the Recovery Act and related federal action helped blunt the impact of the Great Recession on West Virginia. Here's a newspaper article about it and here's the full report.

WAS THERE NO HONOR amongst tyrannosaurs?



Ex Pluribus Unum said...

Does Ripley discuss slow-boiling frogs?

El Cabrero said...

In so many words, yes, but I can't remember whether she talked about it explicitly. That's the trouble with listening to a book on a crappy CD payer. I want to go back to a hard copy.