I never cease to be amazed at how un-democratic environmental zealots can be. Their cause is so just that any means are justified in ramming it through the policy agenda, down people's throats and into public life. For people espousing such a nominally liberal concept as environmentalism, environmental advocates are often the most closed minded and authoritarian in their approach.
Just think of what they call those who question the science they condone and the policy driven by it. And I use "condone" purposely here.
Note how dismissive they are of questions directed at their environmental premises, even when facts are laid out in excruciating detail that knock huge holes in their premises, or outright refute some of them.
Inconvenient Truth continues on its merry way, being shown to millions when many of its "facts" have been thrown into dispute or completely refuted by actual science. Yet Al Gore characterizes those who oppose his views as deniers akin to people who believed the moon landing was staged in a studio and refuses to debate anyone concerning his presentation, claiming there's nothing to debate.
Smith points to one of the reasons this is so:
It doesn't matter if the action they are promoting doesn't actually do anything — it raises awareness! — so it must be good. Everything is justified on the basis on the founding ideology which is premised on a set of constructs that are both faulty and morally derived:
* that consuming resources is wrong * that consumption is bad * that over-consumption of resources is the cause of environmental decline * that the environment is in decline * that world is over-populated * that a world without people would be pristine and harmonious
So Earth Hour, although it didn't actually affect climate, is good because it r[ais]es awareness; Inconvenient Truth is good, despite its factual errors, because it raises awareness; hybrid cars are good, even if they are more expensive and less fuel efficient than diesel, because they raise awareness; carbon taxes are good, even though they will be ineffectual, because they raise awareness.
I agree it has indeed become an ideology as Smith claims. And a pernicious one at that. It is an ideology committed to a certain premise and a particular course of action and it will not be dissuaded from that course by mere facts. The movement has convinced itself that their core beliefs and their own set of "facts" are right and their policies will save the world (for what or for whom, I'm not sure). Consequently anyone who questions their beliefs and their remedies is an enemy. Because they've decided that consensus (a political concept) is more important that proof (a scientific concept), they ignore inconvenient facts, rally behind their consensus and demand we choose their road to economic ruin with little real hope of changing anything to do with the environment.
The problem is, they've a better PR arm than do the "deniers". Gore is running 300 million worth of ads promoting his agenda. He has a 1,000 presenters out there holding talks and seminars pushing his version of the facts. Inconvenient Truth is running in schools, most of the time with no opposing views present. And, of course, the fear of those who question the science is hasty political decisions will be made based on the politics of the issue, not the science.
Yesterday, in his Rose Garden speech on climate change, President Bush proposed a “national goal” of freezing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2025, with reductions to follow thereafter.
The good news, at least for the present, is Republican opposition kept him from endorsing a ruinous and ineffective cap and trade system. But that's a temporary thing. All of the candidates for president from both parties favor a version of such a program.
This fight against the ideology which can ruin us economically (while doing nothing to halt climate change) is going to be a very tough fight. Those that reject the premise of that ideology need to do the same things the AGW crowd does, as Smith points out - keep the rejection of their premise on the front page and raise both visibility and awareness. As I see it, losing this particular fight could be devastating to our economic well being in the first world. However, I think the real downside is it would be catastrophic to the lives and well being of much of the third world. And I think that's a result that is way too often neglected when we talk about the negative economic impact here.
In my somewhat off-beat sense of humor, I’m imagining that a few years from now, scientists will discover that low-wattage fluorescent lamps cause skin cancer. But instead of allowing incandescents to be sold again, the government decrees that everyone must use "fluoroscreen" to protect themselves from the carcinogens in fluorescent light. And fluoroscreen can only be made by pulverizing the eggs of California condors.
What are the real implications to huge debt beyond leaving it a younger generation of tax payers? Reason I ask is that I argued with a staunch Republican after the presidential election, and he asked me "what do you care about the national debt?", guess he was referring to my age (60 +). And being Mongo (not well informed), I did not have a good answer for him.,