In the wake of a new U.S. government climate change study, a 5.6 N.Y. Times article by former Utah governor Jon Huntsman quoted a Pew poll that said 41 percent of Tea Party Republicans believe “that global warming was not happening” and that “another 28 percent said not enough was known.” A related Times article by Megan Thee-Brenan reported that Americans are generally the most denial-prone among all the industrialized nations regarding climate change. At what point should climate-change deniers and disputers stop getting a pass? 10 or 15 years hence if not sooner they’ll be gone from news-channel discussion panels. Their views will be deemed so absurd as to not even merit passing consideration.

The more pernicious and threatening this situation gets, the less radical my green reeducation camps idea will seem. If you don’t want any kind of future for your grandchildren and great-grandchildren, fine…let’s just cruise along and do nothing. But there’s really no way to argue against the notion that rural yokels and their Congressional reps are, no exaggeration, the most malicious villains of our time. Public enemies in every conceivable sense of that term. I explained it all in an 8.5.09 piece called “Argument Over Beers.”

Conservative righties are basically the party of “me first, taking care of my own family, the less fortunate need to get their act together and work harder, darker-skinned people are entitled to the good life but a lot of them don’t seem to really get it like we do, I-don’t-know-about-that-global-warming-stuff, I like to play golf and drive my SUV to the hardware store or the country club and do whatever the hell I want within the bounds of reason because that’s what rugged American individualists get to do,” etc.