A few observations from sitting at the registration booth today:
- Climate skeptics are overwhelmingly old, white, and male.
- Their zealotry is at least as strong as their skepticism.
- At least some of them have Ph.D.s, and it is important for everyone to know it via their nametags. And to refer to them as "Dr. This" and "Dr. That" even if they do not hold an academic position and/or are not attending the conference as "expert" speakers.
- Whereas, of course, there are no recent Ph.D.s in the registration booth! Noooononono! Not even a remote possibility. I become just one of "the girls" handing out badges and programs. All of us "girls" are in our 30s, have college educations at a minimum, and, with one exception, are persons of color.
- The speakers and attendees assume us "girls" share their beliefs. Not one of us does. We mock them, mostly behind their backs. Sometimes to their faces, but the tone of voice never registers. We are invisible performers. It never occurs to them that we "just work here."
Well, their plight is real, but to Climate Skeptics and Global-Warming-Is-a-Myth-Super-Science-Radical-Experts, polar bears merely perform as Endangered Animals. Just another category of losers in the Grand Narrative of Man's Dominance (except, don't forget that "Man" isn't responsible for Global Warming -- only God could manage that!).
Talk about dinosaurs! It's easy to embrace the extinction of others when you -- through some bizarre maneuver of cognitive dissonance, an internalized and never-questioned capacity for mansplanation -- remove yourself categorically from all potentially vulnerable species.