Dissent Against Fascism is Patriotic and Cool. Anti-Intellectualism is Not.
The poorly educated electing a climate change denier (however justified their rage at elitist opulence) is sheer utter madness. That abrupt climate change is well underway is self-evident as the Arctic has shockingly recently been 36° F above normal and above freezing, and 98%+ of temperature extremes are record highs. It is unconscionable that America’s House Science Committee tweets climate science disinformation, as Creepy Donald appoints climate change deniers to key environmental positions, and turns his jack booted thugs upon governmental climate scientists. Festering rural American anti-intellectualism may well kill us all. Being smart is cool. I very much hope this essay offends no one, other than the ones it was intended to.
Trump isn’t just a sexual predator, authoritarian demagogue, or proponent of ill-informed and self-serving policy; he is evil incarnate. Donald Trump is a festering pile of shit that conned the uneducated – who often through their own failures have fewer opportunities – to vote for him. Creepy Donald and his anti-intellectual base’s denial of established climate science truths threaten our very existence. — Dr. Glen Barry
Earth Meanders, Deep Ecology essays by Dr. Glen Barry
Growing up in rural Wisconsin, I experienced firsthand anti-intellectualism. I vividly remember being bullied for my academic achievements (straight A’s except for, ironically, one B+ in of all things creative writing): being thrown against lockers, having my head hit hard, and even human snot being thrown at me because I was smart, valued learning, and did well in school. Thus a free-thinker was born.
Nonetheless, I fought back and liked High School very much – particularly opportunities for creative self-expression such as band and theatre – and I went on to earn numerous college degrees and have embraced life-time learning. I have worked very hard to get ahead and have lived a life committed to the search for truth and in service to important ideas. Others are not so lucky, as my gay brother was too effeminate to defend himself, and had to flee our rural school system and find other dubious manners to advance.
I continue to own my childhood home in the area, and some of these bullies over subsequent years have become close friends as we matured. And my wife and I deeply appreciate the area’s values based upon family, faith, hard-work, and community. As I shall reveal here I FAR prefer the company of rural Wisconsin to the self-entitled elitism of the cities.
Lack of education and outright anti-intellectual hostility has been a problem in American politics for a long time. This persistent anti-intellectualism, exhibited as anti-science hate by some, and present in so much of America’s rural heartland, must end; or we are going to destroy ourselves.
Everyone, however poorly educated, is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.
And the facts are that the basic science of climate change has been known for a century, proven conclusively, and is unfolding precisely as predicted by scientists decades ago. Current scientific findings, including my own – Terrestrial ecosystem loss and biosphere collapse – show clearly that humanity has through environmental destruction inherent in industrial growth overshot the carrying capacity of the planet. For those unfamiliar with the state of global ecological science, this means humanity’s destruction of natural climate and ecosystems threatens to collapse the biosphere and end being.
Recently nearly the entire world came together under the Paris Climate Treaty to globally address climate change for the first time with all nations cutting emissions, a global consensus Donald Trump recklessly threatens to destroy
Anti-science hater Donald Trump came to power inflaming rural prejudice, demagoguing lack of opportunity for the poorly educated, and promoting extreme climate change disinformation. Creepy Donald has already begun his reign of terror upon climate and the natural world, as he hands over the reins of government to the scientifically illiterate and ethically compromised oil oligarchy, and compiles lists of those in the government that worked on climate policy.
Creepy Donald’s ascendancy commits the full might of big government and corporatist interests to the destruction of the atmosphere and every last bit of life-giving natural ecosystems; in order that the rich may access and burn every last drop of oil and chunk of coal. Government and corporations are merged – a key aspect of classic fascism – in order to maximally enrich the billionaire class, living in exclusive, opulent compounds as the rest of us suffer, starve, and die amidst apocalyptic ruin.
Trump isn’t just a sexual predator, authoritarian demagogue, or proponent of ill-informed, unscientific, and self-serving policy; he is evil incarnate. Most everything he promotes, and certainly his environmental agenda, are diametrically opposed to truth. Donald Trump is a festering pile of shit that conned the uneducated – who often through their own failures have fewer opportunities – to vote for him.
Creepy Donald and his anti-intellectual base’s denial of established climate science truths threaten our very existence.
Humanity’s inequitable growth in population and consumption is systematically dismantling the natural ecosystems that make Earth habitable. Whether the human family has evolved enough to survive and equitably thrive – through the acquisition of knowledge, ethics, and just governance – is being decided.
We are all poised together upon the precipice of abrupt climate change and total and complete ecological collapse as the biosphere collapses.
And much of America’s heartland is too fucking stupid to know or care. They have fallen victim to a deliberate misinformation campaign and don’t have the cognitive skills to resist. Often times you get what you deserve.
I also blame the media who treated Trump’s ascent as reality show entertainment. How surreal during US Presidential election debates that not a single question about climate or environment was asked, and now how ironic is the panic as the extremism of Trump’s anti-science agenda becomes apparent.
And the liberal elite – who gorge upon delicacies in their fancy salon’s as so many people are suffering for lack of basic needs being met and a few creature comforts – has to be held accountable. It is my devout wish that the apocalyptic times to come hold special horrors for those that held power and spoke with forked tongues as they enabled industrial ecocide, and enriched themselves, rather than help others and nature.
Recently it was 36° F hotter in the Arctic than it should be, shockingly above freezing for a long period of time. Earth’s last ancient naturally evolved ecosystems continue to be liquidated for toilet paper and lawn furniture. Native peoples protecting all of our water – our last best chance for leadership to save being – are brutalized by the fascist oil oligarchy.
It is unconscionable that as climate and nature are literally collapsing around us, and as one people we fall together into nothingness, that a denier of basic scientific facts required to inform solutions is elected.
I like the real people of Wisconsin far more than the elite, but they shouldn’t be anti-science and anti-truth, or be jealous of others who have worked their mind muscles very hard with education.
I have some advice for the Trump rural electorate, who are not necessarily bad people, but place faith in invisible ghosts over knowledge and truth (nothing wrong with personal faith as long as it doesn’t conflict with self-evident reality). Please stop being so envious of the success of others and work to improve yourself and your children’s prospects. The opportunities available to you and your children are largely determined by how hard you work to educate yourself. If you choose not to prioritize education in your life, and don’t work hard in school, you will have less of everything.
Being uneducated doesn’t make you bad or even dumb, but it makes you less able to think critically and identify and respond to truth. And finally, demand and vote for people who will deliver a fair share of the economic pie to all without polluting and destroying our environment which makes Earth habitable for everyone.
Seek out truth through critical thought and embrace liberty, equity, and ecology.
And frankly, I would expect talented outdoors-men that claim to love the woods and waters to have noticed the ecological decline all around them. But as long as they get their buck, some don’t really care that ecosystems are collapsing. I expect more from you, share your knowledge of nature with us, and work to let forests age and regenerate even if it means less deer.
Many classmates of mine from High School who did not have the opportunity to attend college for whatever reason, are now working overtime to put their own kids through college. Demographics are on our side as millennials embrace tolerance and education. The only question is whether abrupt climate change and ecosystem collapse have reached a tipping point and it becomes too late, leaving us to squabble for the crumbs falling from a dying global ecological system.
Frankly, if rural Wisconsinites would jettison their anti-science hate, I far prefer their conservative ethics (conservation is deeply conservative, hence sharing the same root) to the flatulent and thoroughly rotten liberal elites in Madison. Another high school classmate who was once a good friend has done well for himself in the fetid corrupt political cultural there, getting ahead by enabling child sex abusers. America’s tainted political elite from both parties speak of helping others as they gorge upon the trough of big government and big corporations, and live tawdry lives preying upon others.
After purging climate scientists from government, who will Creepy Donald’s jack booked thugs come for next?
It is no wonder that the heartland of America – the home of patriots and great good at times – cries out for change, but Trump’s anti-science totalitarianism will not make America great again, it will destroy America and Earth. You get what you deserve.
Being smart and looking out for long-term environmental needs are cool. Being an uneducated voter that votes for charlatans because of class envy, dooming the Earth to destruction is not. Taking more than your fair share as your over-consumption destroys nature and workers suffer is foul elitism and must be banished.
Despite being terrorized by the poorly educated with limited prospects in my youth, I am willing to move on and fight for their fair share of Earth’s bounty, and for life-long opportunities for self-improvement.
But first we need to defeat the fascist monster the anti-intellectual rural voters have foisted upon us. Donald Trump is a filthy, vile man – best described as Creepy Donald – who willfully ignores knowledge and preys upon others for personal gain.
Just this week he came for the climate scientists in government, making lists in preparation for their purge. Who will creepy Donald come for next? Gays, blacks, the poor, the handicapped, non-Christians? How long until those that dissent are imprisoned and murdered? Anti-intellectualism has placed the button to destroy the Earth in the hands of a mad man, though he may prefer to do so through his climate and environmental policy.
This American Nazi is not my President. He will have to be defeated, particularly his misogynist, racist, anti-environmental agenda, using all just means necessary.
Donald Trump’s defeat will start with billions of acts of non-cooperation. An Earth revolution is coming and it is our last chance to survive. We have neglected the needs of democracy, the less fortunate, and our one shared environment for too long. It is time to get back to the land.
The coming transition to an equitable, just, and ecologically sustainable world may well come from Wall Street or from Main Street, from the farms, urban activists, indigenous peoples, or some combination of the above; but it will come. And I hope it results from all of us coming together to embrace knowledge, truth, and wisdom as we resist Creepy Donald’s fascist untruths, and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect and restore natural ecosystems, and learn to share again. Only then will America truly be great again.