William Butler Yeats famously wrote, in “The Second Coming,” that
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Is this a proxy for the climate fight?
Recently, David Roberts proposed that “climate hawks” have to stop coddling conservative white male climate deniers and just “beat” them politically, by rallying the same intensity in the liberal/environmental base.
But as I reply here, this may not actually be possible. It may be a contradiction in terms:
…how do you make liberals into the true and non-oxymoronic “climate hawks” that Roberts wants to see? It’s incredibly hard. Just look at the spats that erupt constantly on the center and left over climate policy, and how everybody is balkanized and in a completely different camp from those who are only half a political degree away from them on a 360 degree spectrum.
Look at the repeated internecine fights we’ve had over the “End of Environmentalism,” over framing, and over whether messaging should focus on talking about clean energy or about the science of climate.
Or, just count how many different environmental groups there are.
Or, just watch the Monty Python bit about the People’s Front of Judea versus the Judean People’s Front.
You get the point, I think.
My full response to Roberts is here.