David Roberts @drvox Seattleite transplanted from Tennessee; now blogging for vox.com/ about energy politics. Climate hawk, deficit dove. Not a doctor. Jun. 25, 2019 2 min read

1. I'm gonna write a proper piece about this soon, but for now a quick thread on the direction of US conservative climate policy. I think over the next 10 years -- & probably much sooner -- we'll see two distinct trends.

2. First, the US right will transition seamlessly from climate denialism to climate nationalism/fascism. They will acknowledge the threat & use it to justify exploiting US fossil fuel reserves, building walls, shutting down immigration, & passing punitive trade policies.

3. Collective action problems just don't sit well in the reactionary mind -- and non-zero-sum collective solutions are incomprehensible to it. However, a mad scramble of all-against-all, in which the powerful US can hoard & intimidate & come out ahead? That, reactionaries get.

4. Second, US conservatives will ramp up their demagoguery around "eco-terrorism." As it becomes clear that the GOP simply won't allow a small-d democratic solution, desperate young people are going to turn to direct action. The GOP will use that to justify repression.

5. And be clear: as climate gets more & more chaotic, and the ambient sense of threat & uncertainty rises around the world, these kinds of reactionary responses will gain *more* public appeal, not less. Threat & uncertainty make everyone more conservative.

6. So the US is at a crucial juncture, one that reflects a larger global dynamic: the space for addressing climate change in a cooperative, mutually beneficial way is rapidly shrinking. From here on out, circumstances will bolster the forces of reaction.

7. That's why the situation in Oregon is freaking me out. I thought we had at least a little time left in which the mechanisms of democracy could still work. But the fossil-funded white minority is openly, nakedly rejecting democracy & it looks like they'll get away with it.

8. The right will see that it worked & it will rapidly become standard practice, across states, maybe federally. (If you think the rules are different in different states, so it wouldn't work, you are still hung up on thinking rules matter.)

9. That would mean the end of any chance of the US addressing climate change through peaceful, mutually beneficial, democratic means. Oregon Ds elected majorities, then super-majorities ... now they're supposed to accept that success is only possible if they vote EVERY R out?

10. If democratic means become impossible, what's left is violence. There may be some radical climate activists who think they're ready for that, but guess what? The reactionaries will always have more guns & fewer scruples. The forces of decency will never win that fight.

11. Basically, this is future-of-the-species stuff, getting decided through a spectacle that's barely even able to break into the daily news cycle. And the next time around, there may not even be the pretense of democracy. We are truly headed into the shit. </fin>

12. Oops, meant to add one thing: alongside rising reactionary violence & zero-sum competition, a warming world will also accelerate the trend of hyper-inequality.  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-48755154 

You can follow @drvox.


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