Prior to the election I was talking with a friend about predictions and I mentioned Nate Silver. My friend pointed out what was true. "Remember, he's a liberal." There's an assumption, possibly a reasonable one, that partisans on one side of the divide should be expected to have a bias in one direction and vice versa for partisans on the other side. Probably the truth is in the middle. As we now know the truth was not in the middle. The liberal was right on the money. The conservatives were off the reservation.
The same is true of the climate. We have a spectrum of opinion. One the one hand we have alarmists. Real extremists. They say the reality is worse than the worst case IPCC projections. Let's call them the liberals. People like Chomsky and Democracy Now have been talking about this for a long time. Then you have what you might call the centrists, represented by the IPCC. Finally on the extreme right wing end of the spectrum are the ones that say it's all a liberal conspiracy. The earth is cooling, etc. At this point we can evaluate that as well. We have enough data. We can see who had the closest models. And here it is. The truth once again was not in the middle. The conservatives are completely off the reservation.. The IPCC isn't pessimistic enough. The extremists were right again.
You have one side of our spectrum that is just completely unable to deal with reality, so when you accept what in times past has been a reasonable assumption (intelligent people evaluating the same facts have differing opinions and the truth is probably in the middle) you find that in our current political climate this assumption just can't be held. One side of this debate isn't dealing with facts and data. They have their preferences. For them that is the truth.
Below is a brief discussion of how this state of affairs came about. The theory is that authoritarians have converged into the Republican party, so now most of the people that are incapable of dealing with nuance and complexity are on the same side of the political spectrum.
Some within the GOP may get it. Let's hope more do. We need everyone on board to tackle this problem.