“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Palin Drome

Palin's op ed in the Washington Post (12.09.09) condemns “scare tactics pushed by an environmental priesthood that capitalizes on the public's worry and makes them feel that owning an SUV is a 'sin' against the planet.”

Palin displays the paradox of extreme right wing ideology: it seems to tell us to obey authority without question, submit to "traditional values" and so on...but it has an equally necessary implicit message to enjoy, to commit crimes without guilt, etc. Hence the message about enjoying SUVs.

The problem of global warming science is that it deprives the right of the minimal apparatus that enables the functioning of their two levels (the explicit, condemning sin etc. and the implicit, encouraging all kinds of violations—a form familiar to anyone who's survived a totalitarian regime).

By seeing that everything we do on Earth affects our biosphere, we are deprived of the minimal foreground­-backgroun­d distinction that enables us to think on two different levels at once. Suddenly there is a short circuit between the levels and we can no longer enjoy things in secret, because we know that (metaphorically) Google Earth already has a picture of us doing it, even if no one else sees it...

There are no hidden corners.

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