Skip to comments.Lawn-Sign Virtue Signaling and the Death of Politics
Posted on 09/16/2020 5:06:43 AM PDT by Kaslin
This week, America's West Coast found itself on fire. Millions of acres have burned across California, Oregon and Washington. The smoke clouds have been so immense that they have blotted out the sun in certain areas; air quality has been so poor that hundreds of thousands of people have been forced indoors.
There are several key reasons for the extent of these wildfires. Federal and state policies have been geared around stifling wildfires for decades, rather than allowing controlled burns to prevent accretion of flammable vegetation. As ProPublica reports, California alone saw the burning of 4.4 million to 11 million acres per year prehistorically; between 1999 and 2017, that number dropped to only 13,000 acres per year; in February 2020, Nature Sustainability concluded that California would need to burn some 20 million acres to restabilize in terms of fire. Meanwhile, even those who pursue controlled burns must jump through extraordinarily regulatory hoops to do so: The Clean Air Act treats smoke from controlled burns as a pollutant, for example.
Even California Gov. Gavin Newsom admitted to President Donald Trump that the state had botched its fire policy: "We have not done justice for our forest management." But that admission was the mere precursor to a more important point for Newsom: that climate change is truly to blame for the wildfires. "The science is in ... that climate change is real," Newsom lectured Trump.
In reality, climate change may have had some effect on the California wildfires, but that effect is entirely secondary in scope to the effect of bad policy. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the temperature in Southern California has increased approximately 3 degrees F over the past century. Since 1980, the temperature in California has increased less than 2 degrees F. Does climate change exacerbate dryness and heat? Of course. But fire policy was the chief failure here.
What's more, no matter what Trump believes on climate change, the science is clear: Nothing Trump could have done would have made a measurable impact on the climate between 2017 and 2020. In fact, if the entire United States were to cease carbon emissions today, the climate would be just 0.17 degrees C less hot by 2100.
Yet the media and Democrats suggested that the true story of the wildfires was indeed climate change. This theme was trumpeted by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden first and foremost: Biden emerged from his basement long enough to stand before a field of waving grass and explain that Trump's unwillingness to signal proper concern about climate change would kill Americans. "We have four more years of Trump's climate denial," Biden gravely intoned. "How many suburbs will be burned in wildfires?"
The answer: exactly as many as would be burned with four years of Biden governance. But the point here isn't shaping public policy; it's shaping perception. Politics has become about the art of the lawn sign.
In California, there's one lawn sign that has become quite popular. It reads, "IN THIS HOUSE, WE BELIEVE: BLACK LIVES MATTER; WOMEN'S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS; NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL; SCIENCE IS REAL; LOVE IS LOVE; KINDNESS IS EVERYTHING." The sign is generally plunked in the front yard of a nice suburban home, where it acts as a sort of unearned symbol of virtue. The semantically overloaded tautologies are designed to act as a dissociation tactic from supposedly benighted fellow Americans who apparently don't believe "SCIENCE IS REAL" or that "KINDNESS IS EVERYTHING."
But, of course, the sign conveys nothing beyond a self-congratulatory insistence that the sign owner is a better human than other humans. By phrases like "SCIENCE IS REAL," the sign owner conveys that if you attribute California wildfires to anything beyond Trumpian evil and climate change, you deny science. Which is anti-scientific, of course.
But it's effective. That's why New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted, "Science knows" (cynics might point out that science suggests shipping COVID-19-positive seniors into nursing homes is idiotic). That's why Dr. Jill Biden tweeted, "#VoteForScience" (cynics might ask whether she believes a woman can become a man). By portraying your lack of a political program as entirely irrelevant to the broader question of Science Denial, you can avoid the hard conversations politics was intended to address.
Lawn signs don't solve problems. But they do make us feel good. Which is what politics are supposed to achieve nowadays in the absence of actual solutions. Perhaps at some point we might ask why politics make us feel so rotten these days.
Those signs are also present outside of Unitarian Universalist churches.
“... climate change is truly to blame for the wildfires. “The science is in ... that climate change is real,” Newsom lectured Trump...”
Really??? So why does ONLY California have these disastrous and repeated wildfires?
I saw the same lawn sign from California in New York. I flip them off every time I pass by their house.
I personally like the political yard sign survey...results of the survey show that Biden is running in third place...right behind Trump and wood for sale...
Science is real. Maybe eugenics was onto something...
My favorite, “Hate has no home here”. (SPLC)
(Unless you are a Trump supporter, then they hate your guts)
Might as well post a sign saying "Moonbat Inside!"
Some of them really do come with warning signs...
These signs are very common seen in the lawns of Louisville’s Cherokee Park mansion homes where all the “old money” and liberal elites live. Not to mention the idiot mayor that just paid out $12 million to the family of Briana Taylor, the drug dealer who got shot accidentally when her boyfriend shot at police during a raid.
I wonder if he paid it from his own money? I doubt it though. You definitely need to send him packing.
The death of politics?! If only.
I drove by one day, and there were young girls, jumping up and down with signs for a fundraising car wash, looking for all the world as if it were a fundraiser for their softball team or cheerleading squad.
It was a fundraiser for Black Lives Matter.
Let that marinate: A teenage group affiliated with a church, running a car wash to raise funds for an Anti-American, Marxist group that is founded on a lie, advocates murder, assault, looting, arson, racism, intimidation, and wishes to destroy the nuclear family concepts outlined unashamedly (even proudly) on their own web site.
All this, and I am not sure that any other American motorists passing by even batted an eye at any of this.
The Leftists and Useful Idiots have signs all over the place around here. It is neck and neck (and I think the Black Lives Matter signs are winning the Stupidity Race) but the one that really shows their abject inability to think for themselves is the "In This House We Believe" sign.
It is the lawn sign version of the "COEXIST" bumper sticker.
In This House, We Believe:
Black Lives Matter
Women's Rights are Human Rights
No Human is Illegal
Science is Real
Love is Love
No Matter Your Faith or Ability Kindness is Everything
I see that sign all the time. Every time I see one of those asinine signs, I easily imagine the two faces you would see on the faces of people you might challenge on it.
One face would be vacuous stupidity, and the other face would be contorted outrage.
But when I take the time to think about those signs, these are the thoughts I think:
the signs say “burn my house”
I was the one who went packing. Haven’t lived in Louisville/Jefferson County limits since 1998.
Still work in the city limits though so have to pay local taxes. However, since I’ve been working from home since March, I will be eligible for a rebate of the taxes I paid to Louisville! I look forward to withdrawing the funds from their treasury!
He further behind than third. Weve recently traveled through seven Indiana counties. Lots and lots of TRUMP yard signs, flags, banners etc. at least a half dozen out of date yard sale sign, numerous eggs for sale, I Farm-I vote is very popular in the country. Congratulations class of 2020 and yes wood for sale are more prevalent the. HIDEY HO signs We finally found ONE (1) Biden sign in the woods of Brown County. There are seven Trump 2020 sign between our place and town. And two large billboard size signs on private property in our county! Even Scott county that only has one elected republican in office is displaying their TRUMP 2020 signs!
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