Free Markets, Free People

Defining the alarmist problem

While doing a  review of Rupert Darwall’s book “The Age of Global Warming”, Charles Moore does an excellent job of succinctly identifying the alarmist movement’s core origins and core identity:

The origins of warmism lie in a cocktail of ideas which includes anti-industrial nature worship, post-colonial guilt, a post-Enlightenment belief in scientists as a new priesthood of the truth, a hatred of population growth, a revulsion against the widespread increase in wealth and a belief in world government. It involves a fondness for predicting that energy supplies won’t last much longer (as early as 1909, the US National Conservation Commission reported to Congress that America’s natural gas would be gone in 25 years and its oil by the middle of the century), protest movements which involve dressing up and disappearing into woods (the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, the Mosleyite Blackshirts who believed in reafforestation) and a dislike of the human race (The Club of Rome’s work Mankind at the Turning-Point said: “The world has cancer and the cancer is man.”).

These beliefs began to take organised, international, political form in the 1970s. One of the greatest problems, however, was that the ecologists’ attacks on economic growth were unwelcome to the nations they most idolised – the poor ones. The eternal Green paradox is that the concept of the simple, natural life appeals only to countries with tons of money. By a brilliant stroke, the founding fathers developed the concept of “sustainable development”. This meant that poor countries would not have to restrain their own growth, but could force restraint upon the rich ones. This formula was propagated at the first global environmental conference in Stockholm in 1972.

Indeed, the resulting grouping was a natural one.  Eco radicals out to ‘save the world’ from evil capitalism (and man) and poor countries looking for a way to extort billions from rich countries without having to do anything of note to help themselves.

The G7 Summit in Toronto in 1988 endorsed the theory of global warming. In the same year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was set up. The capture of the world’s elites was under way. Its high point was the Kyoto Summit in 1998, which enabled the entire world to yell at the United States for not signing up, while also exempting developing nations, such as China and India, from its rigours.

The final push, brilliantly described here by Darwall, was the Copenhagen Summit of 2009. Before it, a desperate Gordon Brown warned of “50 days to avoid catastrophe”, but the “catastrophe” came all the same. The warmists’ idea was that the global fight against carbon emissions would work only if the whole world signed up to it. Despite being ordered to by President Obama, who had just collected his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, the developing countries refused. The Left-wing dream that what used to be called the Third World would finally be emancipated from Western power had come true. The developing countries were perfectly happy for the West to have “the green crap”, but not to have it themselves. The Western goody-goodies were hoist by their own petard.

The UN was the natural forum for this push and the IPCC, headed by an railway engineer, the natural “scientific” instrument.  We know how that story has turned out to this point.  No global warming registered for 17 years and 6 months despite all the dire, but apparently scientifically groundless, predictions.  The irony, of course, is it is those who have been skeptical of all of this are the one’s called “deniers”.  And the alarmists have become so bankrupt and shrill that some of them are calling for the arrest of “deniers.” One supposes since the alarmist cause most closely resembles a religious cult, the call for arrest is on the grounds of heresy … or something.

Meanwhile, “green energy” – the eco radical solution to all – continues to not be ready for prime time, while fossil fuel becomes cheaper and more plentiful.

Yet somehow, the so-called “elites” have decided – based on what, one isn’t sure – that the threat to the globe is real.  More irony.  On the one hand, the eco radicals don’t care at all if it costs lives since they’ve been convinced for decades that it is man that’s the problem.  Less of us is a “good thing” in their world.   On the other hand you have the elites, aka, politicians, who see an opportunity to both expand government power and create revenue literally out of thin air.  The fight is over who will get the money.

Meanwhile the reputation of science – real science – will suffer because of this very political cause and the actions of some scientists to serve it.

Scientists, Rupert Darwall complains, have been too ready to embrace the “subjectivity” of the future, and too often have a “cultural aversion to learning from the past”.

And that is a complete disservice to science.  Given all of that, who are the real deniers here?


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26 Responses to Defining the alarmist problem

  • Missing for the line up of source points is Barack Obama’s “Global Poverty Act”, the one piece of legislation that would have had Obama’s name on it as the chief sponsor, if the Senate had brought it to the floor.
    I see that Wikipedia has removed all of Barack Obama’s fingerprints from it.

  • Another BIG factor is the cheap sense of moral superiority one who “defends” inanimate objects (which can’t repudiate you) can have for next to nothing.  Just saying the right stuff is enough.  Or applying the right bumper-sticker.
    OwlGore has cadged that racket into an immense fortune, and a laughable amount of adulation.  There are any number of “scientists” who have followed suit, albeit on a much more modest scale.

    • The cheap moral superiority is little more than a substitute for religion by supposedly bright individuals who have rejected that old-timey stuff and are now super-rational and sciencytific. A few of the lefty blogs I overview from time to time have started up this week with the climate change, which can be blamed on the latest IPCC report I am guessing. The condescension for those who have not yet found the faith fairly drips out of their keyboards. And this is from people who actually consider themselves not to be a “low information” group. But the recycled talking points are not even worth refuting and they all trace back directly or indirectly to sources that are mostly just propaganda outlets, such as the laughably named Skeptical Science blog. Useful idiots to a man.

      • There is no dogma more manically clutched than Collectivist dogma.
        There are no more fierce inquisitors and executioners than those of the Collective.  See Communism, Black Book Of.

    • Climate is what you expect, Weather is what you get.

  • The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released a report claiming that CNN got climate science “wrong” in 30 percent of its segments on global warming largely because they allowed actual debate to happen on man-made global warming. UCS noted that allowing debate on the subject “suggests that established climate science is still widely debated among scientists” and allows global warming skeptics to confuse the public with their dissenting comments. “The biggest step that CNN could take to increase accuracy is to stop hosting debates about established climate science and instead focus debates on whether and how to respond to climate change through climate policy,” said UCS.
    Since the “science is settled” why do we need a bunch of whiny scientists ?
    The whole point is to control the citizens of this country through carbon taxes and other restrictions on the use of resources, no matter if they be publicly or privately held.
    The worst possible scenario is to have this handled by a group of political neophytes like do-gooding scientists. It’s now time for them to STFU and let the professional politicians extract the proper quid pro quos and bring corruption in a manner befitting of the potential financial rewards at atake. Besides, we can save a mountain of money if we shut off funding to these prima donna wannabees.

    • I read a believer on another site claim that presenting balanced views on the subject would mean that for every “denier” view presented there should be 32 “true” views. This based on the 97% consensus, which is in itself a completely fabricated meme. Is it rude to laugh out loud in a church during a sermon? Because that is what it feels like when dealing with these brights.

    • Since the “science is settled” why do we need a bunch of whiny scientists ?
      The so-called ‘Union of Concerned Scientists’ includes precious few actual scientists, at any event.  There are no membership requirements beyond cold, hard cash — for $35, anyone can join.

      • We need the scientists so that in 5 years time they can re-settle the science once warming that was once cooling has become cooling once more, once hurricanes that are rarer now become rarer still, once ice that was thick became thin and thickened to thin again, once newspeak becomes oldspeak and we hurl the unsettled science down the memory hole. Simple really. Send more money now.

      • Ironic how precious few of the 99% consensus of “scientists” are willing to identify themselves by name…
        The few that did, have been easily discredited.

  • cracking sea water for fuel –
    Water to fuel – OMG!  We’ll run out of sea water in 10 years!!!!!!!   Global climate warming ocean draining CO2 stuff yeaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!! Death!  Death!!!!!
    Or, we’ll solve the problem of coastal flooding caused by polar melt…..and we know a small nuke war will keep us cool….
    Pity all these chemical atom thingies tend to produce products that lead to other chemical atom thingies when you do science thingies with them and THEN can be recombined in other ways again to make other chemical thingies….
    too sciencey?
    They should hug a polar bear.  That will make them feel better AND show them their place in Gaia’s plan.

    • Just add water! Some assembly and a nuclear power plant required.

    • Only if you have unlimited, “free” electrical power.  Electrolysis is not perfectly efficient.  Nor could it be.
      When we have fusion power plants…yeah.

      • Gonna has windmills on the ships!   You two must be sciences types!  I offer you something for nothing and you get all conservation of energy and inefficiencies and more in than we get outings.
        You probably didn’t clap to save Tink!

  • But the hits just keep on coming!!!!!!
    “Food” will be less nutritious on account of the overabundance of CO2
    but that’s probably okay because it’s gluten and carbs…right?

    • You are forced to read through that crap before you get to the punch-line…3% decline maybe.
      Betcha plant geneticists will counter that long before it becomes an issue.
      Plus, eat beans.  Of course…methane…

      • I just do it for the hysteria now.
        Prior to this I was against it, now I’m thinking I should find ways to capitalize on it.
        then maybe run for office
        as a Democrat.

    • Data collected from freeze dried samples taken in 1996/1997… what could possibly explain a small 3% variation other than some CO2 wafted over the plants nearly 20 years ago before they were put on ice???
      Hmmm… many greenhouses and commercial growing operations pump up the CO2 levels to very high levels to encourage growth, does this mean that all those products we buy are also depleted in the same way? Why did they need to analyze data from 20 years ago instead of do it again? So many questions, so few bullets.

      • Dang you science guys!   ACCEPT!! ACCEPT!!!!!!!!!   BOW DOWN and ACCEPT!!!!!!


        You just wait till we’re in charge, then you’ll see!  Then you’ll ALL be sorry!

  • A great first start to realize Agenda 21 would be to round up all the people who think man is evil and a cancer upon the world and grant them their wish. Removal from this earth.
    Then we can summarily forget all about Agenda 21
    The benefits are two-fold, we rid ourselves of the Progressive dogma, they’ll be more of everything for those who love and appreciate their fellow man.

  • “When OLE staff visited the Ivanpah Solar plant, we observed many streamer events. It is claimed that these events represent the combustion of loose debris, or insects. Although some of the events are likely that, there were instances in which the amount of smoke produced by the ignition could only be explained by a larger flammable biomass such as a bird. Indeed, OLE staff observed birds entering the solar flux and igniting, consequently becoming a streamer.

    • We had to destroy the snowy bald owl eagles in order to save millions, maybe billions of lesser desert tortoise prairie chickens.