Conservatism Of Denial

In an AP story about the concern among ski resorts over rising temperatures, one member of the industry reacted to Utah governor Gary Herbert's belief that the "public jury is still out" regarding climate change:

"That's just kind of raging ignorance," said Auden Schendler, executive director of sustainability for Aspen (Colo.) Skiing Co. "We're not environmentalists, we're business people. We have studied the hell out of the climate science. To have a neighboring governor not believe it ... It's absurd."

Schendler addressses the hate mail he subsequently received:

The subtext is that to understand climate science, you have to be educated. And if you’re educated, you’re an elitist. And that doesn’t square with the Palin-populist worldview that running this country requires no advanced training, education, or experience. Running a family gives you all the skills you might need. (My response is that solving climate IS about the little guy, it’s about the common man and woman, because they are going to get pounded by this problem. Think about the people of low-lying Bangladesh ... and lots of Americans of all backgrounds.) [...]

It’s odd that our country has gone from revering education (my father, who grew up poor in the Depression, thought it was the holy grail and came from a culture that skipped kids through grades to get to college at 16 or sooner; my Grandfather, a Republican born in 1901 in Fargo, insisted that his grandkids go to college…) These bootstrappers, who used to represent the core of conservative values, have fallen out of style.