Perhaps more than any other scientific issue, global warming has been difficult to assess, primarily because it so quickly became politicized in academia and public discourse. And it quickly evolved into a movement, attracting anti-capitalists, environmentalists and seemingly unrelated activist groups like the anti-trade crowd en route.
Scientists who were skeptical of global warming, considering it just part of larger and normal cyclical climatic changes, were ostracized. Most importantly, they were shut out of the lucrative pool of research dollars set aside for those willing to provide support to the theory.
As the movement grew and picked up momentum, the alarmist dogma was portrayed as scientific consensus, but the last few years have seen the warming of the earth recede and even the start of global cooling. In addition, new evidence suggests other planets had warmed as much or more, with the increase linked to solar activity, which is seemingly receding.
Of course, if the earth is cooling, or if its cause is solar activity, it’s difficult for global-warming proponents to make the case that it’s a manmade phenomenon and problem. However, there’s far too much invested in the movement at this point to let legitimate scientific questions stand in the way.
Their thinking is that man and his interaction with this world is evil, so it must be creating a problem. It is for this reason that the nomenclature is changing from “global warming” to “climate change.” The contention is that if man isn’t creating global warming, he must be responsible for floods, hurricanes, tornados and the coming of the next Ice Age.
The science regarding the sunspot index and historical cyclical changes aside, it’s important to remember that this issue never has been, and never will be, about science. It’s about arresting development and the perceived exploitation by developed countries of the Third World; it’s about fighting the inherent “evils” of capitalism, and leveling the economic playing field.
The problem for these folks now is that $4/gal. gasoline is driving a public willingness in the U.S. to accept the tapping of domestic oil reserves in Alaska and offshore. Meanwhile, in Europe, economic stagnation and decline is forcing Europeans to grasp that the cost/benefit analysis of the “green” movement isn’t an empty exercise.
The reality is that the correlation between CO2 levels and global warming is questionable at best. Global temps have been decreasing of late, in the face of increasing levels of CO2, indicating there may be no relationship between it and global temps.
Climate change is a movement and, at its core, is anti-human, anti-progress and anti-capitalist. Yet it has the full support of academia, the media and the entertainment elite, which perhaps shouldn’t be that surprising. But what is surprising is that, while the models and forecasting continues to be wrong, the righteous indignation of the movement is actually growing stronger.
Pointing out that 32,000 scientists have signed a petition as skeptics of global warming, or that 70% of the Earth’s recent warming occurred before 1940, or that the earth has only warmed 0.2o C. since 1940 and we appear to now be cooling is irrelevant. What we must address - if we are going to address the climate-change movement and its aim to stop modern ag, manufacturing and lifestyles while moving us toward a simpler and less prosperous life - is that this movement is political by its nature. It represents the Far Left of the political spectrum; it's a repackaging of the socialistic and Marxist agendas of the past.
It is at this level that one can begin to understand the goals and desires of the movement. It is also at this level that we can combat it. Man, greed and progress are the threats; government control, regulation and removal of individual rights in support of the collective good are the answers of the climate change movement. Thus, any effective counterbalance to the climate change movement will be conducted on philosophical not scientific grounds.
At one point, the socialist movement believed science should be king, and bureaucrats freed from the evil profit motive could make the best decisions for man. Today’s environmental movement has taken that dogma a step further; not comfortable with science-based conclusions, they believe bureaucrats, or more explicitly environmentalists, should be able to make these type of decisions based on their moral superiority.
This tactic has thus far found little ear, however, as the environmental movement has found the mainstream hesitant to give them carte blanche based on a supposed moral and intellectual superiority. Thus, the movement is in a bind; while science has to be the justification, they want to advance pseudoscience. And the key to advancing this politicized form of science is to paint anyone who questions their science as amoral.
Of course, even this tactic hasn’t enabled them to enact their entire agenda, which has led them to adding the final piece of the puzzle. That is to admit that while the science may not be clear, the consequences are too severe if they happen to be right. They’ve been emboldened by the embracing of this brand of pseudoscience by the bureaucracies that exist to regulate individuals and industries, as it too provides job security and increased funding.
The bill that was postponed, and likely to be taken up again once the new Congress is in place, would have aggressively moved to reduce greenhouse emissions. It’s just a forerunner of the type of legislation we’re likely to see after the election. What will be interesting to watch is whether the ag industry – tempted by the potential gold mine of being paid for carbon sequestering – jumps on the bandwagon of promoting reduced carbon emissions.
In its broadest sense, what is being proposed is nothing short of a total reorganization of the U.S. economy, with the environmental movement – via the government – essentially redefining private property rights and an individual’s rights to make business decisions based on their personal self-interest.
Perhaps you think I’ve wandered off the reservation a bit with these assertions, but in the last six months we’ve heard political candidates talk of retreating from established trade agreements, of restructuring or taking over the health industry, of nationalizing the petroleum industry, and various permutations of embracing junk science and ignoring individual rights. What’s most concerning is that these voices are no longer the shrill minority. They’ve become more mainstream, and those who voice opposition are increasingly painted not as protectors of progress but rather impediments.