Reading the Ridiculous

“Little Library, Badger Hill Brewing” (photo by m.a.h. hinton)

I have mentioned here before that I read a lot of what is traditionally, and pejoratively, classified as “genre fiction.” It is what I enjoy reading before going to bed or at times when I am too tired to write or read something more demanding of my attention. Watching TV makes me restless. Reading light-fare does not.

I started one a couple of days ago that I got from the library. Like a lot of “Men’s Adventure” fiction it features a rich, handsome, brilliant, courageous, hero who is not only an expert in some obscure field but also a great business man as well an expert in weapons and police or military tactics. They are also, of course, peopled by beautiful, sexy, and brilliant women who are smart about everything but stupid enough to hook up with the hero of the book.

These cliches are easy enough for the most part to overlook or skip. Details about weapons and tactics can be easily skimmed. But what cannot is the inevitable right-wing political-bullshit baggage many of them carry with them.

In the book that I am trying to read now, the writer has come up with a ridiculously complex plot centered around the idea that a group of environmentalist-lefties kill a bunch of people to steal proof that global warming is not caused by CO2, but other factors.

According to the protagonist, the case for CO2 causing climate change is a  hoax born of emotion and not science and perpetrated by researchers who are paid a lot of money to confirm the flawed theory so as to hurt industry, mainly American industry, and the “American Way of Life.”

It is interesting to note that the protagonist is not denying global warming. That ship has apparently sailed. Even Exxon executives, for the most part, no longer try to sell that story. No his argument, which mirrors many I have heard from righties of late is that maybe is is a contributing factor but it is not the only one and besides it is economically too expensive to clean up and not as dire as claimed.

Whenever I hear such “economic” arguments a couple of questions come readily to my mind that I would love to be able to ask.

First, on the one hand they are saying that researchers are biased because they are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to prove that global warming is a problem.  Yet at the same time they seem to be  saying Oil Companies are NOT incentivized by the billions of dollars of oil profits to deny their own culpability, or that their researchers are not incentivized by the hundred of thousands of dollars they get to prove that CO2 does NOT cause global warming.

Second, there seems to be a conflation of what is in the best interests of oil companies is obviously in the best interest of the United States. This is an equation, I have never been able to understand. Yet is is as old as the TeaPot Dome Scandal.

I will keep reading the book probably. But what promised to be a far-fetched plot, has apparently become a ridiculous one.



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