The five stages of climate denial

  1. Global warming is not happening.
  2. Okay, global warming may be happening, but it’s part of a natural cycle, and human activity has an insignificant effect.
  3. Alright, human activity may be causing climate change, be we shouldn’t try to fix the problem because the planet will take care of itself. And besides, doing anything would be too costly, and would harm productivity, growth, comfort, etc.
  4. Yes, yes, maybe we should have tried to fix the problem, and maybe that would have been the most cost-effective solution in the long haul. But it’s too late now. And besides, by the time things get really bad, I’ll be dead.
  5. I see climate change as a sign of the end times, and because I’m convinced that I’ll be saved, I actually want to hasten the planet’s demise. The sooner we destroy the Earth, the sooner I can go to heaven!
    (Stage 5 applies only to apocalyptic religious fundamentalists.)
Update: It looks like I was not the first to make the observation that climate change deniers tend to move the goalposts.

Update 2016.08.08: There’s another variant of stage 5 — perhaps it could be called stage 4½ — “The increasing rate of natural disasters (floods, droughts, hurricanes, heat waves, etc.) is caused by sin/apostasy/blasphemy/colored chalk.”


Reasonable fear, self defense, and murder

An article in the CSMonitor reviews the state of stand-your-ground laws in the U.S. Here’s a salient quotation from criminologist and gun policy expert Edward Leddy, professor emeritus at St. Leo University in Florida:
“If somebody breaks into your house in the middle of the night, the presumption is you have the right to assume that they are armed and intend to do you harm. How reasonable is that presumption? The problem is there’s no clear-cut answer to that. It depends on the situation and the reasonableness of the person’s fear.”
If gun rights fundamentalists have their way, and turn the U.S. into a nation where an ever-larger percentage of the populace owns guns, the fear that an random person is armed will become ever more reasonable. This will in turn provide racists, xenophobes, and other vigilantes the justification they need to commit state-condoned murder.

A worldview based on fear is self-fulfilling.