In Australia, one climate change denier comes back to science (because coronavirus)
Over the past two months, Australian blogger Jo Nova has kept her audience abreast of the pandemic, as her climate conspiracy theory posts have dried up in favor of regular coverage of coronavirus. And unlike others who have downplayed the severity of the threat or offered false hopes for easy fixes, Nova has repeatedly called for quick and drastic measures to not just flatten, but “crush the curve,” by imposing a full lockdown followed by blanket testing and full tracking of transmission.
Though incredibly costly up front, these measures would pay off by keeping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed in the short term, and allowing a return to relative normalcy sooner. Even her post about potential antiviral cures was carefully qualified, emphasizing that these potential cures in no way negate the need for other measures.
While we’re certainly not going to endorse the accuracy of her dozens of posts on the coronavirus, they stand in rather stark contrast with others in the denial blogosphere who are mocking or downplaying the crisis, or those beginning to embrace the lethal call to end isolation policies, convincing us we should choose to let people die in the name of keeping the economy happy.
And that’s really the point of all this. Denial is a choice. Though one’s reaction to a particular aspect of reality is informed by ideology, emotion, worldview and financial incentive, whether or not to accept that reality is a decision.
Climate change deniers, particularly those spreading and not just consuming it, aren’t just tragically misinformed. They aren’t victims of their political upbringing or slaves to their economic ideology, who just can’t see things any other way. Denial is neither an inherent part of their nature, nor a result of how they were nurtured. Jo Nova here, and other climate-friendly conservative groups elsewhere, are evidence that denial isn’t innately intertwined with one’s political preferences or degree of general scientific skepticism.
It is a conscious decision to put the interests and well-being of corporate profits ahead of the well-being of the general public.
Remember that, as the calls to end social isolation policies grow louder and more frequent.