Chris Hayes: The Right's Willful Stupidity On Climate Change


CHRIS HAYES: As a winter storm bears down on much of the country this evening, we begin with some very good news from the coldest place on earth.

This incredible rescue today of 52 scientists, journalists and tourists, all part of a month-long research trip to study changes in Antarctica's environment over the last hundred years, including what role global warming has played over that time period. Because of a blizzard, their ship had been stuck in what is basically a sea of ice since Christmas Eve. Now, for anyone with any sense, you think, fantastic, I'm so glad they were rescued. But for the American right wing, you instead think it's a great opportunity to point and laugh about the hoax called global warming. Because, you know, ice.

The prospect of air quote global warming scientist defeated by too much ice was just too rich with mockable goodness for the right's leading intellectual lights. Donald Trump tweeted, "This very expensive global warming bull [bleep] has got to stop! Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our global warming scientists are stuck in ice." The right wing had a field day, pointing and laughing at the global warming believers who, just to be clear, are only a group of scientists risking their lives for no monetary gain and little glory in order to help save the planet. It truly was a new year's gift of faux irony for the denialists. And that it coincides perfectly with their annual tradition of snow-trolling makes it all the better.

Get it? It's cold! Where's your Al Gore now?

Of course, no one ever said that climate change meant it wouldn't ever be cold. Even in the most overdramatic climate change nightmare conceived by liberal Hollywood, the end came not from hot, but from cold, a giant snow hurricane, a snurricane. And yet, here we are. Because this willful stupidity is backed by a lot of money. A new report found that conservative groups spend up to $1 billion a year to fight action on climate change. $1 billion to cultivate a group of people who delight in being on the wrong side of history.

In 2006, 59% of Republicans believed that there is solid evidence the Earth is warming. A decade later, that number has dropped to just 50%. There is an entire industry that exists to feed its viewers and readers with contempt and ridicule for not only the basic science of climate change, but even for the people who toil in obscurity, risking their lives to avert genuine misery and disaster for millions of people, and that industry controls one of our two parties.

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