Climate change denialists — what are these guys thinking? I mean, what do they really think, in their heart of hearts (or whatever organ it is they use to make arguments such as this) when noone else is listening?
I have often daydreamed of responding to the more hard-core denialists by suggesting that they write letters to their great-grandchildren and explain to them why they are doing what they are doing (or, more importantly, not doing) and what they hope for their future world. What would you tell your descendents if you could talk to them 100 years from now, in their world inherited from us, about what you were thinking and doing to ensure that their inheritance included at least some shadow of the miraculous world we take for granted? I would be very intrigued, for example, to see such a letter from Oklahoma Senator and infamous former Environment and Public Works Committee Chair James Inhofe (see, for example, here and here).
Evidently, great minds think alike. My colleagues at DeSmog Blog have beat me to the punch (way to go guys!) with a very similar idea, albeit not explicitly directed at denialists, in their “100 Year Letter” project. A few letters have come in so far. I would love to see more of them, because I think this personal, emotional approach is just the sort of thing that might work in breaking through the thick, desiccated crust of apathy and cynicism and (deliberately fabricated) confusion and fear that keeps people from getting it, from understanding that climate change is a real problem that will have real and serious consequences for the people that we love most in this world — our children and their children.
I think it would be a useful exercise for each one of us to sit down and think hard about what we want for our great-grandchildren and what we are willing to do to provide it for them. Then write it down and send it to DeSmog Blog. Or send it to your local newspaper, or both. I’m thinking about mine now. Stay tuned . . .