Follow The Green

I’ve played the Devil’s advocate for a while now on the topic of Global Warmism, but I want to take a moment to remind readers that my attitude toward its central claims — namely a) that the Earth is warming; b) that the primary cause is an anthropogenic increase in CO2, and c) that the effect of such warming will be so awful that we should take immediate and drastic measures at a global level, with enormous impact upon both the world economy and the sovereignty of powerful nations — is generally agnostic (regarding at least the first, and perhaps also the second). My responses in these pages, rather, generally reflect an inveterate wariness toward grandiose collectivist schemes, particularly when they assume the form of secular religions, complete with sanctimonious moralizing toward infidels and heretics — all of which the Global Warmist movement exhibits in spades.

Students of history need no reminding that progressivist ideologues like nothing better than a crisis, or an external enemy; they are just the thing for suspending those pesky individual economic and social liberties, and they provide an unbeatable rationale for collective action at the broadest possible scale. In times past the broadest possible scale was that of a nation, or an empire — but Global Warming, affecting, as it is alleged to do, the entire Planet, expands “broadest possible scale” to its literal maximum.

Sometimes crises come ready to hand. For example, Woodrow Wilson made splendid use of the Great War to impose, albeit briefly, a stifling statist regime here in America, in which many cherished freedoms were simply laid aside, and individualism itself became a grave moral transgression. FDR was similarly fortunate: the Great Depression, and then the Second World War, gave him everything he needed. His National Recovery Administration, under the stern leadership of Hugh “Iron Pants” Johnson (who actually distributed Mussolini’s writings to his staff) was a Fascist apparatus in all but name — as witness propaganda clips like this, featuring FDR and the Blue Eagle as only a compliant, complicit Hollywood could present them.

In quiter times, when the moment simply must be seized, crises can also be made to order. But whether bespoke or off-the-rack, crises have been essential, again and again, to the subductions and upthrusts of history’s seismic shifts.

To those modern reformers, then, whose eyes glitter with collectivist and redistributionist ambitions of Earth-girdling scope, a truly global emergency was needed. And by a splendid stroke of luck, they have found one.

Again I will say that it may very well be that the Earth is warming, and it may even be that our profligate consumption of fuel and forest is, at least in part, the cause. I really don’t know (though I do know that the Earth appears not to have got any warmer during this century, and has warmed and cooled many times in the past, long before we sinners appeared on the scene).

I won’t trot out here the many other inconvenient data presented by skeptical scientists, but I do have a feeling they haven’t been given an entirely impartial hearing — a view well supported, it seems, by recent whistle-blowing. Above all, though, I feel one should ask, given the current political climate: cui bono?

That there are powerful ulterior motives in play is obvious enough. Some of them are laudable, chief among them being an impetus to wean ourselves from oil, and a wish to be more efficient generally, and more forward-looking in our stewardship of natural resources. But some older, and far more familiar, motives are quite blatantly on view in this article from last week’s Times, about how Europe has big plans already in place to profit from the New World Order. We read (emphasis added):

BRUSSELS — No political entity has pushed harder for the Copenhagen conference on climate change to succeed than the European Union.

Europeans say they have gone further than anybody else in moving toward a low-carbon economy that could serve as a model for the rest of the world. But the bloc’s ability to exercise global influence through progressive standards and moral leadership, rather than through superpower status, is facing a key test.

“The E.U. frankly doesn’t have the political clout to determine the outcome at Copenhagen,” said Peter Haas, a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

The E.U. still has much at stake in Copenhagen, however. It is facing huge pressure, Mr. Haas added, to “keep the prospects of a global deal alive so that European business leaders and voters believe they are on track to take advantage of green technology markets of the future.”

Ah yes: “Huge pressure to keep the global deal alive”, so as to “take advantage of green technology markets”. What could be more impartial?

It’s all about the science, of course. And the Planet.

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Update: In today’s Times we read that a newly published study has announced that the current decade is, contrary to what we’ve been hearing, the warmest on record. If so, this is obviously an important bit of information, at least as regards claim a) above (though obviously it has no bearing whatsoever on the other two).

Meanwhile, another item bears the headline Climate Deal Likely to Bear Big Price Tag. Here.

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2 Comments

  1. bob koepp says

    Malcolm – I’m pretty skeptical of the AGW “consensus”, too, and agree that it’s a convenient “crisis du jour” for liberal busy bodies. But this sort of behavior, and a readiness to trample your and my freedoms, isn’t restricted to the leftward side of the political spectrum. Ideologues of all stripes (even some waving libertarian-style flags!), seem ready to trample anybody who has the audacity not to march in lockstep. Just sayin’…

    Posted December 9, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Agreed, Bob. I recommend eternal vigilance.

    Posted December 9, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink