Ron Wyman’s August 30 letter, “Greenhouse gases have an alibi too,” expresses the banal vitiation of science that permeates right-wing American orthodoxy. Climate-change skeptics are always clutching some tattered study about tropospheric temperatures from six years back, or muttering about normal climate cycles, but their almost never carefully weighing the actual current science.
The wellspring of their skepticism lies not in chemistry or examination of normal climate cycles but in ideology, and their syllogism goes something likes this: Markets solve all problems. Markets are not solving global warming, therefore global warming is not a problem.
This proof has certain logical short-comings, beginning with the fact that it’s illogical. But it is emotionally comforting. For those who wanted to stop thinking about responsibility, morality, science and all that stuff, the advent of Reagan era market fundamentalism was a godsend, and anything that threatens to disrupt it is an identity challenging tilt of the psychic pinball machine.