Since Hurricane Harvey I've been carrying around anger, waking up to anger, anger toward the fossil fuel industry and their minions. <groan>

At Robert Scribbler, Apneaman vented about climate change deniers, in response to research in Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds, about facts failing to change people's minds, and I sympathize.

Apneaman:

These hardcore deniers are the true Nihilist and they will drag everyone else down with them including their own. They are reckless. Their beliefs stem from the same cognitive process as religion. They are zealots. Global suicide bombers.

One of the worst consequences of their denial has been leaving the populous almost completely unprepared and unprotected from these consequences.

This is where I see a difference between guilt & responsibility. Humans are responsible to varying degrees, but the deniers are guilty. I tend to think if the billion dollar plus per year denial campaign has not poisoned the minds of the public and help create a volunteer army of true believer deniers who have put in countless hours spreading the lies and threats, then perhaps we would not be as far along as we are down the doom road.

Look at all the pain and destruction and blood they already have on their hands. Not phased one bit. They just want to ‘win’, ...

image source

image source by way of Climate Action's pinterest

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This ties in with "Reason Evolved to Win Arguments".

The possible antidote in "Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds" -- having people explain their positions, and realize they're not as knowledgeable as they thought, shattering the illusion of explanatory depth -- seems like a nonstarter for proud "Extreme Wingnuts" who prefer their "Libety" to "Tranny"! (Even though that's probably not what the sign writer meant, I'm sure there's a lot of overlap between climate denial and transphobia too.)

I remember reading someplace that people's minds can be changed more readily if they hear opposing facts from someone they see as a trustworthy authority who's already in their camp, who's already one of the person's "us" rather than in the outside "them".

(Usage nitpicks on Apneaman's post: he probably meant "populace" and "fazed". Spelling checkers don't always help!)

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