Deniers control the climate change debate. Not because they’re right. Any sentient human being knows they’re dead wrong. Rather it’s because deniers have established the debate ground rules. Labeling scientific reports as hoaxes, they alternately argue that regulations and costs to respond to this “conspiracy” are too high and will kill jobs, raise taxes and wreak havoc on the economy. Sadly these excuses appeal to individuals who care more about their pocketbook than their children’s future.
Of course, scientists, economists, national security experts and international leaders make solid cases to refute everything the deniers offer up. But, therein exists the problem. Time and effort is being wasted responding to the extreme, hyperbolic and incredulous positions of deniers. This defensive posture effectively cedes control of the ball by starting on the opposing end of the field, in the deniers’ red zone no less.
From a professional public relations perspective, it is always more effective strategically to play offense. The response to the existential threat of global warming must be immediate in the interest of humankind now and moreover for generations who follow. There must be unequivocal commitments to renewable energy; alternative mass transportation; water desalination; whatever science dictates.
… AND THIS BULLET POINT
In a similar vein, the debate over gun control has been staged on the turf of uncompromising gun rights advocates. While policymakers waste precious time debating incremental regulations and dead-on-arrival legislation, the country suffers one after another mass shooting.
There are real gun safety solutions that should be implemented. Universal backgrounds checks, obvious. No civilian ownership of any sort of weapon designed for war, period. And mandatory use of smart-gun technology that necessitates the legal owner’s biometrics to pull the trigger. Or better still, rewrite, replace or repeal the anachronistic Second Amendment.
RELEVANCE IS A PRIVILEGE
The irony of such battles for sane and safe solutions is that intelligence and commonsense is being roundly defeated by a conspiracy of dunces. Relevance must be earned; it is a privilege not a right.
In the meantime, we’re losing ground and lives. We must stop engaging with, and by default giving credence to, the nonsensical, self-serving arguments of the deniers, dissenters and decriers.
For goodness sake, we must stay offensive and ignore ignorance.