If science says that we have a big problem that can't be solved with tax cuts or bombs well, the science must be rejected, and the scientists must be slimed. For example, Investor's Business Daily recently declared that the prominence of James Hansen, the NASA researcher who first made climate change a national issue two decades ago, is actually due to the nefarious schemes of who else? George Soros.As Krugman notes, the extent to which conservatives have turned opposition to global warming science into a personal jihad against Al Gore is breathtaking. He's "hectoring." He's "lecturing us." He's "holier than thou." Conservatives naturally oppose any government action to combat global warming, but as the childish campaign against Gore shows, they also oppose any effort to simply persuade people as well. Their excuse? Gore and other campaigners are hypocrites unless they themselves live in caves and cut their own carbon footprints to zero. It's the kind of argument you'd expect to hear from a six-year-old throwing a temper tantrum.
Which brings us to the biggest reason the right hates Mr. Gore: in his case the smear campaign has failed. He's taken everything they could throw at him, and emerged more respected, and more credible, than ever. And it drives them crazy.
For more on this, see pretty much any Bob Somerby post from the past seven or eight years.