Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Golfers, most of whom are Republican, are stupid (when it comes to global warming)

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Actually, I like golf. I used to play it from time to time and enjoyed it immensely. It's just not as easy to do when you live in Toronto and have other, more pressing priorities.


Regardless, the truth is that a lot of golfers are really stupid, at least if global warming denial is any indication (and I think it is):

NPR commentator Frank Deford had a segment this morning about golf courses, in which he cited a Golf Digest poll showing that 41 percent of golfers believe global warming to be a myth.

This number struck me as surprisingly high. But then I did a little digging and discovered that, while an April Pew poll found that 71 percent of Americans say there is "solid evidence" the earth is getting warmer, only 49 percent of Republicans now believe that to be the case. More intriguing, Pew found the number of Republican skeptics to be on the rise--up 13 percentage points from a similar poll conducted in January 2007.

So if you assume that most golfers are Republicans, the stat makes perfect sense.

That's from TNR's Michelle Cottle. I suspect her assumption is a valid one, though I'd like to see some numbers before passing judgement.

And there are other factors at play here. I assume that golfers are, in general, wealthier than non-golfers. This may make them Republican, or more likely to be Republican (and it is troubling that so many Republicans are global-warming deniers), but, if they've made their money in the corporate sector, it may also make them more likely to deny the truth of global warming and more likely to accept, say, oil-industry propagana.

I assume, too, that golfers are, in general, older than non-golfers. This may also make them more likely to deny the truth of global warming and, more broadly, to be less environmentalist.

But the truth will get them yet. Here's the title of Michelle's post: "Just wait until their greens dry up." I wonder if she intended a double (triple?) meaning here. The "green" they care about is money, not the environment. With a warming planet and changing climate, many of their golf courses will indeed dry up -- the ones located in warmer parts of the world.

But, rapacious capitalists that many of them are, their other "green," the money, will dry up, too. Some will no doubt profit off environmental catastrophe -- that's always the way, isn't it? -- but large-scale economic collapse could (and likely would) parallel any such catastrophe. And then what? Well, I guess they wouldn't be able to afford the greens fees anymore.

Assuming there are any greens left.

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  • No, no. It's not that global warming is a myth. It's that George Bush and the Republicans caused it - that's the myth. Also, a more basic myth is the link to man-made global warming. It's one big, NAUTUARL cycle that goes on for millions of years -- that's long after Obama's possible term is up, by the way!

    By Blogger QueersOnTheRise, at 4:36 PM  

  • In the States, we insist on putting golf courses on cheap land that often in the Southwest started out as desert. Then we have to water it in order to have greens.

    All of that will become unsustainably expensive self-indulgence as the planet heats up and our water sources disappear. Unless, of course, governments can be used to push the costs of unsustainability on to the poor people.

    That's why golfers lean Republican.

    By Blogger janinsanfran, at 5:24 PM  

  • Well, TDN, it's you and the industry-sponsored propagandists against pretty much the entire scientific community (minus the industry-sponsored hacks).

    I think I'll take their fact-based assessment over yours.

    (Good points, janinsanfran.)

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 6:29 PM  

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