RECENTLY I SAW AN INTERVIEW with the chairman of Exxon/Mobile acknowledging the contribution of fossil fuels to climate change. However, he insisted that his company was directly responsible for only 5% of the contribution and everyone down the line was accountable for the rest. Therefore there was no action he needed to take.
THIS EXAMPLE OF INVERTED THINKING ILLUSTRATES how anything can be justified.
1. During the recession of 2008, "magic fingers" would do the work if we only left them alone.
2. Evangelicals can do anything they wish because God will forgive anything they do.
3. A baker can refuse to make a cake for a gay couple because it is against his religion, as long as his belief is "sincere."(Now where did I put my sincerity meter?)
4. Ronald Reagan introduced the idea of "trickle down prosperity" to justify massive tax cuts. It suggests to me sitting under the banquet table of my king, and catching the crumbs that fall.
5. "Shareholder Value" is not just the most important thing, it is the only thing.
6. Nowwhere in the free market system or the Constitution is there implied or explicit mention of financial justice or fairness. Hence, anything goes if you can get away with it, including the destruction of the planet. Hence stealing from the poor to give to the rich is just now a matter of opportunity (which mostly means new session of congress).
7. The "prosperity gospel" follows in these footsteps.
8. Therefore, there is no underlying or built-in value of looking out the window to see how things are going.
9. Therefore by the time the New York Times gets around to treating global warming seriously, it is too late.
The real problem is more fundamental, however. See the chapter on education.