Billionaire climate activist wants to educate all of you stupid, unsophisticated hicks

For all of you mouth breathing, devolved global warming deniers out there, apparently there is finally hope that you’ll be brought out of the darkness. Mega-wealthy hedge fund manager Tom Steyer (who has long since made his own bundles of Benjamins and now has the leisure to devote all of his time to sticking his nose in other people’s business) is terribly worried about your lack of education on settled science matters and is seeking to set matters to rights. Speaking at a recent climate conference held in Aspen, Colorado (and really… where else would this happen but Colorado?) Steyer explained – or possibly Voxsplained – how much work remains to be done in terms of converting the hoi polloi to his cause. (This comes from behind the pay wall at Politico Pro, so I apologize for the lack of linkage.)

“I think if you were to go around to most of the — what I would think of as super-sophisticated people who think about politics and policy more than five minutes a month — we are doing really well,” Steyer said today at a conference in Aspen, Colorado, hosted by the American Renewable Energy Institute. “And the question in the United States of America is how are we doing with everybody else, which is the 99.5 percent of the people whose lives are very busy and complicated and pressing and they don’t have a lot of time to think about the things that don’t immediately impact themselves and their family.

“And I would say on the former we’re kicking ass and in the latter we have a long way to go,” he added. “If we’re going to make a difference, we can’t just hit the people who are focused on policy in the United States. We have to understand how we can reach a much broader audience and make them understand why this is important to them and their families.”

See, they’ve only been able to win over the super-sophisticated people thus far. (Just being nominally sophisticated doesn’t cut the mustard these days, it seems.) But with a bit of education dumbed down to the level where even a bunch of hicks like you might grasp it, there’s still hope!

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) had a few choice words for Mr. Steyer which will save me a lot of snark investment here.

“Since when do we live in a country where only the self-professed ‘super-sophisticated people’ get to make decisions for everyone else? Tom Steyer has spent millions bankrolling candidates and organizations whose efforts are leaving hard-working Americans without work, without economic security and without hope for the future. And, today, he demonstrated once again how totally out-of-touch he is with the priorities of the ‘broad audience’ of Americans he so offensively characterized in Aspen today,” said Laura Sheehan, senior vice president for communications at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). “Perhaps people aren’t as simple-minded as Mr. Steyer thinks, because they certainly aren’t buying what he and his elitist friends are selling. What Mr. Steyer fails to understand is that the American people are, in fact, thinking about what immediately impacts their lives and families because ‘super-sophisticated people’ like himself and President Obama are not.”

Steyer is also displaying more than a bit of hypocrisy here. He’s still personally invested in those nasty, carbon producing fossil fuels himself, even as he chides others to pull their financial support. And those billions of dollars he’s sitting on didn’t come from investing in wind farms. And yet his entire personal agenda these days is to regulate coal-based electricity out of existence if he can manage it. (If you want to see the real world effects on the regular people Steyer is trying to reach and how his favored regulations are “important to them and their families” you can read about the results in Alabama here.)

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