Climate change. It is what we used to call weather. But it continues to represent the holy grail of environmental and energy policy for leftists, just as abortion does for cultural policy.
Those of us who grew up learning that science was about facts – essentially what distinguishes it from art – have had trouble coming to grips with climate science being reduced to pure politics.
We have for years witnessed an emotional debate over climate change based on a theory replete with a minefield of flawed hypotheses. Start with the fact that climate change was formerly called global warming – until the left discovered that the cataclysmic warming trend about which they had warned us has slowed down, or even stopped. Nevertheless, the politically correct majority view has been formulated in large part by an academic community dependent on federal grants that essentially require them to serve as an amen chorus on the threat posed by anthropomorphic (man’s fault) climate change.
But that’s hardly the end of it. While the environmental extremists continue peddling their political science, they also keep trying to shut down debate by marginalizing and demonizing those who dare to disagree. Their claim that their climate change agenda is based on what they call “settled” science is patently false. Al Gore’s most spectacular predictions in “An Inconvenient Truth” have proven to be the equivalent of shouting fire in a crowded – and not burning – theater, but they continue to label those who refuse to go along as deniers. The parallel to those who denied the Holocaust is unmistakable, and shameful at best. But it is also political science, straight out of the Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals playbook:
RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
RULE 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy.
Another defining feature of Alinsky is the permanent campaign. The left may have been vanquished and the global agenda derailed in the last election, but environmental extremists and collectivists don’t accept defeat. They simply ramp up their attempts to condemn those who disagree with them.
Pure Science vs. Junk Science
Most of us are incapable of understanding the full breadth of science regarding the environment. And thus, we are unable to evaluate this debate properly – with pure science rather than junk science.
In the absence of such ability, we should do what we do when we purchase goods, services, or information about which we know little. Consider the source, or more specifically, its history and track record.
Nothing represents the political and climate science establishment better than Time Magazine, and as the dueling magazine covers pictured below clearly demonstrate, the same crowd that warned us of an impending ice age 30 years ago – along with their intellectual descendants – are now telling us precisely the opposite.
Absent hard evidence and unpersuaded by the facts, the environmental extremists have tried to change their fundamental argument that this climate change will cause only warming to the assertion that any and all dramatic changes in weather (cooling, warming, natural disasters, etc.) can be incorporated into their climate change manifesto. To give you an idea of how they have widened the scope of this supposed threat, they now claim both floods and droughts are products of climate change. Do you trust or attach any credibility at all to sources who reverse their positions? And not just from one conclusion to another, but from one catastrophic conclusion to another.
Indeed, it seems any alarmist clarion call will do for the left, as long as it requires wrenching changes in our way of life, more burdens on the business sector, and of course, as always, more government control.
Even though we have more coal than any nation on earth and rising energy costs, we already witnessed over eight years of Barack Obama the virtual death of the coal industry in the wake of the 44th president’s proud assertion that his new EPA regulations would essentially stop any expansion of this industry. Donald Trump saw an opening, and in those industrial states of the Midwest, which put Trump over the top, it was clearly a contributing factor in his shocking electoral victory.
The left knows full well, and in fact embraces, the staggering costs associated with global efforts to address this climate change, even though they as much as admit that U.S. acceptance of the Paris Climate Accord, the Kyoto Protocol, and other crippling global regulatory schemes would not make any appreciable difference in the temperature of the planet. Rather than doing the logical thing and rejecting these treaties or their tenets, they respond by stipulating that it will take not just one accord, but many to fix the problem.
The Arrogance of Politicians
That is a truly frightening proposition, as it is based on the essential premise that governments can change the weather. Think about that. What kind of arrogance is required to believe, as Obama famously claimed about himself, that politicians can control the rise of the oceans and the fall of the planet?
The victim in all this is legitimate environmentalism. We should be continuing our largely successful efforts to reduce litter and curb air and water pollution and striving to reduce energy consumption and develop alternative, clean, and renewable sources of energy through a free market. But this legitimate environmental agenda is entirely undermined by the purveyors of an extreme agenda based on political science instead of climate science.
The endless cries of catastrophic climate change have become so predictable and endemic to the left-wing agenda that, as with the labeling of Trump supporters as white supremacists, reasonable people no longer take these warnings seriously.
After all, you know what happened to the boy who cried wolf.