Those who can make you believe absurdities
can make you commit atrocities.
How could this happen? Carbon dioxide is exhaled by humans with each breath. How could the idea to call it a “pollutant” and to regulate its “emissions” get such traction in our society? How could a mad suicidal cult and its preachers obtain so much power in the academia and media, and become a cornerstone of the Democrats’ political platform, in the 21st century?
Many factors were in play.
- This takeover did not happen overnight, but took some 30-40 years.
- Climate alarmism was born and acquired power abroad. It was led by a bunch of non-governmental organizations of the environmentalist and “global governance” persuasion, acting in cahoots with certain United Nations agencies. It infiltrated the US through American branches of foreign NGOs and their fellow travelers, such as NRDC and EDF. Climate alarmism made a huge leap in 1993, when its fanatical disciple Al Gore became the Vice President. Nevertheless, climate alarmism has always been and remains an essentially foreign phenomenon.
For example, the infamous Congressional testimony delivered by Dr. James Hansen in 1988, on invitation from Senator Wirth, was instigated by foreign enviros and diplomats in the run-up to the Toronto conference that happened a few weeks later. The climate dogma had been developing largely in lawless UN agencies and unaccountable transnational organizations, often using them as an extra-territorial operational base when national public demanded answers about its mischief.
- There is indeed a strong consensus among foreign governments in support of climate alarmism. This consensus has nothing to do with the science. Many governments are promised “reparations” from the United States for alleged harm; other countries expect to benefit from the damage to North American oil & gas exploration inflicted by climate alarmism; and another group of countries enjoys immunity from limitations that climate treaties impose on Europe and North America and receive fringe benefits in the form of outsourced manufacturing and/or preferential trade terms. Finally, many European countries are ruled by coalitions including influential Green Parties, and the rest are too small to resist.
- Over the last 8-10 years, climate alarmism has achieved its huge scale by spending tens of billions of dollars on its own public relations, including payments to public relations firms, pseudo-scientists, corrupt academics, university administrators, journalists, and media outlets. It has also created its own institutions with scientific-sounding names and taken over formerly highly-regarded organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences. Climate alarmism continues to demand more and more money, and spends most of it on self-promotion and intimidating its opponents.
- The leaders and pseudo-scientists of climate alarmism are driven by many motives. Fear of just punishment is quickly becoming the leading motive, as it should be. Their crimes start with tax evasion, theft of hundreds of billions of dollars, inflicting economic damage on the order of trillions of dollars, include an attempt to murder millions of Americans by shutting down the national energy infrastructure, and possibly include high treason. It is likely that they hide the truth even from their nominal party leaders – Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. That makes the current situation even more dangerous and unpredictable.
- The foreign interference, money, and some confusion about the subject matter were not the only factors in the meteoric rise of climate alarmism. Since the late 1980s, the global warming agenda has been accepted by the left as “their cause,” and received unconditional support. The majority of the scientists leaned left, and many of them accepted the alarmist claims (which were much more reasonable then than today) of the environmentalists and general media without suspicion. These scientists also bore old prejudices against conservatives, to whom they attributed all kinds of anti-scientific leanings. Although these prejudices provided enough breeding ground for alarmism, the scientific community successfully resisted climate alarmism in 1990’s. The Oregon Petition, signed by more than 30,000 scientists and other professionals knowledgeable in sciences, is just one example.
- In 2001, even the International Panel on Climate Change acknowledged that carbon dioxide emissions did not cause harmful climate change. It reacted to this “discovery” by removing the word “anthropogenic” from its definition of “climate change.” That did not stop climate alarmism from gaining momentum. Instead, climate alarmism finally parted ways with science, and declared its dogma to be the undisputed truth.
- Scientifically illiterate Al Gore was responsible for the science in the Clinton–Gore administration from 1993-2001. He evaluated scientists according to their agreement with his views on global warming. Not surprisingly, his appointments and budget decisions had effect of deadly poison, administered to the American scientific enterprise. (To tell the truth, it was not all Al Gore’s fault. The scientific enterprise came under fire from many directions, from the academic “social constructivism” theory to “diversity” politics.) The scientific institutions, already leaning left before Al Gore, just fell to the left after his reign.
- George W. Bush was too naïve to fight cunning enviros on the government payroll posing as scientists, and was allowed too little time for that anyway. Concerned with maintaining national unity in the aftermath of the enemy attack on 9/11, he appointed Democrat John Marburger as his scientific advisor (Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy). Marburger let government-financed scientific institutions slide further down and to the left, but his appointment did not save Bush from the usual accusations of “manipulating science for political purposes,” “censoring scientific results,” and “silencing the science,” all slogans shouted by the Union of Con Scientists and the rest of the attack pack.
- In 1997, the US Senate rejected the Kyoto pact, instigated by climate alarmism, by a 95–0 vote. The main reason was its discriminatory terms against the US. But these terms, demanding unilateral emission cuts by the US and few other countries, were more like an insult added to an injury. The injury was the corruption of the science by environmentalist quackery, of which the global warming catastrophism was just the latest example. This vote proved to be a palliative treatment. Many politically active leftist scientists, including distinguished ones, remained committed to the totalitarian ideals, wanted Congress to accept their beliefs as the science, and called for Congress to “restore science to its appropriate place in government.“ But the First Amendment says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. The leftist scientists either did not understand the First Amendment, decided that it applied only to religion of the “ordinary folk” and not to them, or were egged on by their comrades whose “science” needed “a place in the government” because it took place neither in nature nor in the lab. When the Senate passed a resolution not addressing alarmist beliefs directly, these scientists probably concluded that the Senators did not have scientific arguments against the alarmist beliefs, and acted out of some ulterior political motives. And they accepted the alarmist claims (which were much more moderate then than today) as real science, and opposition to them as politically or financially motivated. Since many of these scientists were quite distinguished and sincere in their ignorance and hubris, their opinion carried much weight with their colleagues.
- The lawless nature of the IPCC and other UN agencies allowed climate alarmists to pull off a trick which would be impossible in any national forum. It was like the “telephone” game played by kids. Scientists at the bottom of the IPCC structure were saying one thing, while Greenpeace and its accomplices at the top of the IPCC structure were telling the public something entirely different, and invoking the authority of the scientists. When elected officials disagreed with the Greenpeace allegations, many legitimate scientists thought that the politicians misunderstood the science, and sharply criticized them. The leftist media was only too happy to amplify such criticism.
One example is the play on the definition of “climate change.” If climate change is understood as “dangerous anthropogenic global warming,” as in the UN Framework Agreement on Climate Change, then climate change does not happen. If climate change is defined to include natural climate variations, according to the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (2001), then it happens and has been happening for billions of years, but is not alarming. And there are dozens or hundreds of mutually incompatible definitions of climate change, produced by climate alarmists and by scientists trying to get crumbs from the alarmist table.
- The extreme left apparently took over the Democratic Party in 2002-2005. The DNC started to court the foreign vote openly. Internet made that courting easy and convenient. Democrat Congresspersons welcomed foreign “observers” at the US elections. Al Gore started a hedge fund called Generation Investment Management in the UK, and founded an exchange to trade hot air (voluntary carbon credits). Gore and his minions publicly fantasized that the hot air would become the hottest commodity of the 21st century, and prepped themselves to become multi-billionaires. Unfortunately, they did not stop at fantasizing, but attracted some serious money, and put it at work to scare us into buying those carbon credits. In 2005-2006, in the time of the major insurgency in Iraq, climate alarmism started its own offensive against the US on the American soil. This offensive has been going surprisingly successfully, and led to the current situation.
- The recent Attorneys General gambit is a show of desperation, rather than strength. Greenpeace, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and whoever else behind them have sacrificed three state Attorneys General – Eric Schneiderman, Maura Healey, and Kamala Harris – as if they were merely pawns. Maybe they were.
Those who press an analogy between the energy companies and the tobacco companies just expose themselves as either hopelessly crazy or craftily malicious. Those who act on that analogy are either criminals or enemy agents. Tobacco is a harmful, addictive, and useless (for everybody but the smokers) product. This is why the unconstitutional and corrupt prosecution of the tobacco companies was successful twenty years ago. Oil, gas, and coal are exactly opposite to tobacco. They are energy sources necessary for the existence of civilized society, on which the lives of the majority of Americans depend. And not everybody in this country is an idiot, thinking that the power of his or her dreams can replace electricity and gasoline.
By the way, the climate alarmist lobby opposes nuclear power and hydro power as fiercely as it opposes fossil fuels.
Climate alarmism’s Tower of Babel is falling. It is voluntarily supported by the Obama regime from inside, and by the Guardian from outside. The Guardian used to be a respectable newspaper of the British Left, but dropped to the tabloid level and is awaiting indictment for espionage. Other supporters of climatism are in it only for the money, or because they are chained to it as galley slaves to their oars, or because they are too stupid to run away from the falling tower.
Use the Climate Sanity Search to learn more.