This is going to be a non-scientific post centered around scientific themes. There will be generalizations. Prepare yourself accordingly.
Climate Deniers (individuals who dissent from the doomsday narrative regarding Climate Change), Anti-Vaxxers (individuals who believe vaccines are more harmful than beneficial), and Flat-Earthers (individuals who believe the Earth is flat) are regularly derided in Liberal bastions like Hollywood, the Mainstream Media, Academia, and Silicon Valley.
While all three are ridiculed by the same people, the ridicule they receive is unequal. This is for two main reasons.
The first is that the levels of risk vary.
The second is that the ability to rebut dissent varies.
Here’s how each one breaks down:
Level of Risk
-Has no traction
-A few people’s beliefs about Earth’s shape has no effect on others
-No powerful people entertain the idea
-As you can still vaccinate your own children, effects can only felt by third parties (compassion based)
-Very few powerful people entertain the idea
-Complete cooperation required, so even a minority of dissenters affects the entire outcome
-Many powerful people entertain the idea
Ability to Rebut
-Look at a picture of the Earth
-Look at the horizon
-Look at the sunrise/sunset
-Explain immune system function
-Explain herd immunity
-Highlight eradicated diseases
-97% of scientists agree (appeal to authority)
-Care for Earth (appeal to emotion)
-China is polluted (re herring)
-Ignored with confidence
-Laughed at sincerely
-Reasons to support vaccines explained
-Lumped in with Holocaust deniers
Since there is no mainstream support for Flat-Earth theories, and because the curvature of the Earth can be easily observed, deniers of a globe-shaped globe are not taken seriously by many people. If they do not accept a simple explanation, it is of no importance. The world keeps turning. This is why Flat-Earthers are more of a source of entertainment than something to be worried about.
There are large swaths of the population who believe vaccinations cause developmental diseases like Autism, and many go as far as believing this is a conspiracy to dumb-down or depopulate the human race. But while large-scale non-vaccination can lead to contractions or outbreaks of diseases, parents can still vaccinate their own kids and live in areas where Anti-Vaxxers are uncommon. Additionally, it is not particularly difficult to understand why vaccinations should be beneficial, and there are few people in power who take serious issue with vaccines. This is why people are likely to attempt to explain why we should support vaccines and can generally do so in a civil manner.
For those who genuinely believe that Climate Change will lead to something apocalyptic, and that a massive global effort must be undertaken immediately to prevent it, Climate Denial cannot be tolerated. And for political and business opportunists whose agendas and finances would be assisted by the typically-proposed policies and regulations to address Climate Change, the chance of a lifetime cannot be allowed to slip away. Add in the fact that the climate and man’s impact on it are far too complex for the average person to begin to understand, and you have a recipe for uncivil and irrational reactions to Climate Denial. This is why emotional and authoritarian appeals and red herring arguments replace the simple reasons one can use to defend vaccines. Ultimately, drastic measures are often taken to silence and delegitimize those who deviate from Climate Alarmist narratives. This is because allowing a platform for a persuasive and difficult-to-refute argument that many smart and powerful people find appealing could be devastating to proponents of Climate Alarmism.
If those who support rational and good-natured discussions and learning about science, the environment, and the climate want to see their desires come to fruition, they must understand why their opponents feel and respond the way they do regarding Climate Change. Without knowing where someone who disagrees with you is coming from, getting them on your side is as impossible as accurately determining humanity’s overall impact on the average global temperature.