A friend of mine asked me this:
“Do you think that people who deny climate change are happier than people who don’t?”
I thought about this for a moment, and responded with a very confident, “Yes.”
I didn’t think long enough. Of course, happiness does not discriminate based upon one’s environmental notions—at least, not wholly. Man-made climate change may sound like quite a reality to an individual struggling with happiness, just as it would for someone who couldn’t be living it any better.
I’ve mulled over my response, and decided that ‘happiness’ was not the right word for this question.
Granted, not all Creationists or hyper-conservatives are happy, but possessing the ability to disregard something that threatens the existence of life on Earth as we know it must alleviate some inherent distress.
I wonder if this is a possible reason for why one might be a denier; they are afraid of being responsible for the fate of the world.
While I lament the choices they make in regards to this denial, I don’t blame them. No matter how many statistics bombard screens, books, and magazines, the fear remains. The confusion remains. And the comfort of choosing denial—not too far off—remains. Some will recede into this pocket of denial, because fear is all-consuming.
We are only human, after all. Fear and fate combined will daunt, twist, challenge our intuitions. The size of the catastrophe is irrelevant. There will always be deniers, because there will always be a flicker of happiness, of comfort, to retreat to—no matter how small.