Thursday, July 7, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows of Climate Change Denial

I've search for years to the answer to the question of why otherwise normal, rational human beings of above average intelligence will buy into a conspiracy theory. And with the grand theory of birtherism having been mainly put to rest (and I say mainly because there are still elected officials and even Presidential candidates who like to continue to talk about it), there still exists a cadre of conspiracy theorists who believe climate change is a hoax-- a socialist conspiracy theory.

With the release of the final Harry Potter film, I began an online conversation about climate change denialism and how to rid ourselves of it. In one sense, climate denialism exists in so many different forms that it has ensconced itself in that those scions must be destroyed if the idea is to be relegated to be taken only slightly less seriously than those people who believe in the Trilateral Commission.

Even more importantly is not just to defeat climate denialism as an idea, but to actually do something about climate change. EG, if Voldemort is the status quo of burning fossil fuels with no limits on greenhouse gas emissions, what do we need to defeat first in order to make Voldemort mortal and vulnerable.

Just as Harry Potter had to destroy 7 horcruxes, here are, I believe, the 7 things that must be defeated in order to make action on climate change happen:

1. Congress = Marvolo Gaunt's Ring (can be used for good and evil, but a horcrux and a deathly hallow, incredible power when wielded)

2. Fox News = The Diary of Tom Riddle (the words of evil used the poison and hypnotize the minds of unsuspecting good people)

3. Obama = Harry Potter himself (an emanation of good originally empowered by and also cursed by the touch of evil)

4-6. Oil, gas, and coal money in politics = Slytherin's Locket, Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, The Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw (scions of the elements of our legacy economy- you could also maybe include steel and automakers in here, possibly the unions that represent them)

7. The Chamber of Commerce = Nagini the snake (the one who does the bidding of Voldemort and carries out his murders)

So, in order to do something about climate change, we just need to get the money out of politics, destroy a media empire, defang the venerable Chamber of Commerce, reign in Congress, and get Obama off his duff to do something.  Not. Bloody. Likely.  But, it's only these fights that seem hard that are worth fighting.

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