Now, why in the world did I read an interview with Al Gore by Ezra Klein about global warming and not see this coming?
Well, I think the most important part of it is winning the conversation. I remember as a boy when the conversation on civil rights was won in the South. I remember a time when one of my friends made a racist joke and another said, hey man, we don’t go for that anymore. The same thing happened on apartheid. The same thing happened on the nuclear arms race with the freeze movement. The same thing happened in an earlier era with abolition. A few months ago, I saw an article about two gay men standing in line for pizza and some homophobe made an ugly comment about them holding hands and everyone else in line told them to shut up. We’re winning that conversation.
The conversation on global warming has been stalled because a shrinking group of denialists fly into a rage when it’s mentioned. It’s like a family with an alcoholic father who flies into a rage every time a subject is mentioned and so everybody avoids the elephant in the room to keep the peace. But the political climate is changing. Something like Chris Hayes’s excellent documentary on climate change wouldn’t have made it on TV a few years ago. And as I said, many Republicans who’re still timid on the issue are now openly embarrassed about the extreme deniers. The deniers are being hit politically. They’re being subjected to ridicule, which stings. The polling is going back up in favor of doing something on this issue. The ability of the raging deniers to stop progress is waning every single day.
Wow. I'm a "denialist." And that makes me just like a racist or a homophobe or, good lord, somebody who favors nuclear war? But don't worry. As soon as "the conversation has been won," I will no longer "fly into a rage" when my affliction is mentioned. In fact, I'll be too embarrassed to even say anything in polite company, so I'll just shut up, and y'all can go about saving the planet without me.