Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

16

red_pepper wrote

It's also critical to understand the material conditions of these people and how those conditions play into their seemingly ignorant opinions. the way people's employment interacts with their belief in climate change is my go to example for this.

A combination of environmental regulations and renewable/natural gas growth has lead to a massive contraction in the coal industry. In turn, this has lead to the loss of a lot of well paying jobs and the collapse of pensions and the decline of coal unions. In return, they got a bunch of ununionized fracking jobs and solar installation jobs without the same benefits or wages or job security. They had to retrain to do those jobs too, and many people who were in their 50's just retired early. Worse, those jobs weren't located in the same area and so many have had to uproot their lives to move to where the jobs are. This has also lead to the decline of the rest of the economy in coal country.

Convincing these people that climate change is a deadly threat that needs to be fought aggressively is impossible in these material conditions. It's not a matter of education or propaganda, and no amount of arguing will ever sway them. In order to actually bring them on board, we need to change their conditions. Unionize solar and gas, or bail out the pensions, or something. Give them a reason to fight climate change, rather than force them to sacrifice even more when they have already lost so much for the "greater good". Yet, what does the left have to offer? Ridicule, exclusion, and zero sympathy. As if they deserve to lose their jobs and way of life. This needs to change.