DENIZENS

It’s been a while since I’ve indulged myself in a liberal rant, so I think it might be time to clean out the pipes. With some regularity, you hear from conservatives the argument that the wailing doomsaying Cassandras of the left, sobbing about energy and resource depletion and climate change, don’t take into consideration human ingenuity, the fact that time and again we’ve come up with solutions to seemingly intractable problems. (Are you ready? This is where I say “And yet...”) And yet, it’s been the conservatives who have opposed, blocked, and ridiculed every attempt to apply some human ingenuity to these problems. In some respects, it’s the ridicule that’s the most heinous of these behaviors. They stand on the sidelines and smirk whenever solar or wind power is brought up. They mock vegetarians, Prius owners, even recyclers. In an article sent to me by a conservative friend, a columnist chortled about how pissed liberals are going to be at some unspecified point in the future when they realize how their sacrifices were a waste of time. Have we reached the point where moving our fat asses off the couch for a minute to drop some plastic in the recycle bin is considered a sacrifice? And even if climate change turns out to be the grand hoax the right fervently wishes it were, is conservation of our resources ever a waste of time? Psychologists will tell you, of course, that this right-wing sneering is an attempt to deal with the vague guilt they feel for sticking their heads in the sand (this is not a metaphor gone haywire; it’s my contention that they’ve learned to sneer with their butts.) To no avail: psychologists, along with scientists, teachers, philosophers, and Harvard professors, are all dismissed by the right as deviant wild-eyed socialists whose goal is to round up the common folk in re-education camps and subject them to fluoridation and homosexuality. Such fear and anger consume these people. Talk about a waste of time.

 Ah, that felt good. That ought to hold me for a week or so.