Any time there’s an article about climate change — about a demonstration calling for policy on climate change, really any time climate change gets mentioned at all — a gaggle of trolls lurch forward to spew rhetoric so tired it amounts to the intellectual equivalent of na-na na-na boo-boo.
“I wonder if any of them drove their cars to the protest.”
“I bet they’ve all got cell phones or use other consumer products that require petroleum.”
“Where do these lefties think the jobs are coming from?”
And so on.
Trolls think these comments are really smart and pithy, as if it’s not common knowledge that contemporary society is predicated on cheap oil or as if no one had ever thought through the issues and asked themselves the same questions.
What’s sad is that because the trolls are complacent in their infantile “I know you are but what am I” attitude, they will never realize there are, in fact, some serious criticisms of the mainstream climate change movement.
To be clear, “serious” criticism does not mean climate change deniers, of which climate trolls are merely a perverse subset. “Serious” indicates the range of research and thinking on climate change from the unflinchingly realistic to deep green ecology to catastrophism. Something like “serious” is work by Guy McPherson, professor emeritus at University of Arizona, whose work demonstrates it is possible that because of run-away climate change and environmental degradation the human species will be extinct in two or three decades.
There are other “serious” critiques of mainstream climate change science as well, from ecocentric and anthropocentric perspectives.
The attached graph is intended to show something of the range of ideas. The horizontal axis represents typical left-right politics; the vertical axis represents typical authoritarian-liberatory trends.
Hopefully what some of the trolls will notice, if they bother to read this far, is that the mainstream climate change movement they are so quick to mock is actually quite moderate and reasonable, perhaps to a fault, when compared with other views. What the trolls need to understand is that the mainstream climate movement mostly wants to preserve the contemporary way of life and is not seeking any radical or revolutionary change.
Anyone who knows anything doesn’t usually respond to their pettiness, instead just laughing inwardly (and perhaps crying a little, too) at how pathetic climate trolls are.
[For a somewhat more detailed take on the discourse of climate change with a specific focus on Newfoundland and Labrador (and without any discussion of trolls) have a look at a working paper presented to UArctic Extractive Industries at this link.].