Permalink to The Left Doesn’t Really Believe in Climate Change

The Left Doesn’t Really Believe in Climate Change

 

shutterstock_103227926The sky is always falling. If the new ice age doesn’t do us in, the ozone hole will. The instant DDT is banned, aerosols must follow. Global warming is replaced by climate change is replaced by “global weirding.”

And what is the solution to these often-contradictory scenarios? We anachronists who retain a bias toward the hard sciences would employ very different measures to prevent a freezing ocean and a boiling one. To an engineer, soldier or plumber, this is obvious.

But how do leaders of the environmental left address these opposing doomsdays? By raising taxes, increasing government, impeding capitalism and reducing national sovereignty. Coincidentally, the same policies they would promote if their supposed environmental catastrophe was utter fiction. It is little wonder that voters are suspicious.

When natural gas production was a too-expensive alternative to oil, the environmental lobby promoted it as a surefire way to reduce carbon emissions. Close the coal- and oil-fired plants; convert cars to run on CNG. Yes, it will devastate industries, cost jobs and burn billions of dollars, but think of the children!

Since even malevolent industrialists love their kids, energy barons took the greens’ advice and found cheaper, more efficient ways to extract and transport natural gas. What a victory for the movement! But instead of celebrating, envirolobbyists rent their garments over their once-miraculous fuel. The instant green energy translated into Big Oil profits, progressives placed the CNG and fracking on their naughty list.

When carbon emissions were labeled agents of the apocalypse, engineers noted that the only atmospheric emission from nuclear plants is water vapor. If greenhouse gases were as dangerous as claimed, Gaia’s savior, at least for a time, was the humble atom.

Again the environmentalists turned on a dime, alleging that CO2 is bad, but tiny amounts of nuclear waste buried under mountain ranges was, well, icky. Sure, there are now vastly safer waste-reducing solutions, but did you hard-science-types forget the cool bumper stickers on our VW microbus? The China Syndrome won Oscars, you know.

Every time a real-world solution is provided to a promised calamity, leftist leaders move the goalposts. To be sure, many well-meaning parishioners have bought the con and piously observe the demanding rituals of earth worship. But the high priests still jet around the globe, chasing checks from energy tycoons to build monstrous mansions along doomed coastlines.

That’s because the Left doesn’t really believe in climate change. Their true religion is raising taxes, increasing government, impeding capitalism and reducing national sovereignty. Climate change is just a temporary excuse to achieve those ends.

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  1. Profile photo of WI Con Member

    I’ll believe that they believe in global warming/climate change/climate disruption/climate inconvenience… when I can buy a place on the beach in the Hampton’s for $50 – I mean its basically worthless.

    • #1
    • May 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm
  2. Profile photo of Tuck Inactive

    “Their true religion is raising taxes, increasing government, impeding capitalism and reducing national sovereignty.”

    Which all boils down to: power.

    • #2
    • May 27, 2014 at 1:55 pm
  3. Profile photo of Tim Kowal Member

    Well formulated, except the conclusion suggests a touch of the conspiratorial with its reference to specific policies. I think instead the enviro-left is captivated by the part of the monkey brain that rages against civilization writ large. The label “progress” is only a happy coincident when it comes to wishing for energy technologies that don’t exist. The rest of the policies that scratch their particular itch are positively revanchist — e.g., one-child policies and chasing people from their yarded homes back into 600-sq-ft. flats in crowded cities.

    Big State-ism happens to comport with that worldview. But that, too, is just a happy accident. There’s nothing intrinsically desirable in taxes and regulations — it’s their effect in ushering in the Brave New World they have in mind.

    • #3
    • May 27, 2014 at 1:58 pm
  4. Profile photo of Colin B Lane Inactive

    Agree with everything you said, Jon, with the exception of one word: “temporary.” The beauty of climate change alarmism is that it provides the Left with an excuse for promoting government intrusion into and control of our lives well into the future — indeed, beyond all of our lifetimes. And, unlike so many past Leftist scares, it is essentially irrefutable since everything supports its premise (e.g., too cold — climate change; too hot — climate change; too much rain — climate change; not enough rain — climate change; etc.).

    This is no temporary excuse. They’ll milk this baby forever.

    • #4
    • May 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm
  5. Profile photo of Randy Weivoda Thatcher

    You’re right on the money, Jon. I have no doubt that when the day comes that solar power is advanced enough to provide plentiful, cheap electricity and turn a profit without being subsidized, the leftists will start barking about how the solar barons are blinding birds with their giant solar farms. And there will be complaints about how those greedy solar barons want to build their farms on pristine and oh-so-fragile wilderness.

    If a family is heating their home and cooking their meals over a smoky dung-fire, that’s merely sad. But if someone is making a profit selling a family natural gas for their furnace and stove, that’s evil.

    • #5
    • May 27, 2014 at 2:41 pm
  6. Profile photo of Only1Here Inactive

    Your column is absolutely right. I love your veiled reference to Al Jazeera Gore. Thanks for making me laugh while pointing out the left’s numerous irrational positions.

    • #6
    • May 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm
  7. Profile photo of Roberto Coolidge

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    That’s because the Left doesn’t really believe in climate change. Their true religion is raising taxes, increasing government, impeding capitalism and reducing national sovereignty. Climate change is just a temporary excuse to achieve those ends.

     You’re not crazy:

    Prince Charles has called for an end to capitalism as we know it in order to save the planet from global warming.

    In a speech to business leaders in London, the Prince said that a “fundamental transformation of global capitalism” was necessary in order to halt “dangerously accelerating climate change” that would “bring us to our own destruction”.

    In a politically-charged speech at the Inclusive Capitalism conference, the Prince said: “I remember when the Iron Curtain came down there was a certain amount of shouting about the triumph of capitalism over communism. Being somewhat contrary, I didn’t think it was quite as simple as that. I felt that unless the business world considered the social, community and environmental dimensions, we might end up coming full circle.”

    • #7
    • May 27, 2014 at 4:17 pm
  8. Profile photo of George Savage Admin

    Savage’s Law on energy and the enviro-left: The political attractiveness of any source of energy is inversely proportional to its readiness for cost-effective deployment at industrial scale.

    This formulation explains why solar power in the form of photovoltaic power generators on every rooftop is a Good Thing while the practical form of solar power–your local hydro plant–is not (c.f., the water cycle).

    • #8
    • May 27, 2014 at 4:50 pm
  9. Profile photo of Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed. Post author

    George Savage: Savage’s Law on energy and the enviro-left: The political attractiveness of any source of energy is inversely proportional to its readiness for cost-effective deployment at industrial scale.

     Genius.

    • #9
    • May 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm
  10. Profile photo of Western Chauvinist Member

    You’re not crazy:

    Prince Charles has called for an end to capitalism as we know it in order to save the planet from global warming.

    In a speech to business leaders in London, the Prince said that a “fundamental transformation of global capitalism” was necessary in order to halt “dangerously accelerating climate change” that would “bring us to our own destruction”.

    In a politically-charged speech at the Inclusive Capitalism conference, the Prince said: “I remember when the Iron Curtain came down there was a certain amount of shouting about the triumph of capitalism over communism. Being somewhat contrary, I didn’t think it was quite as simple as that. I felt that unless the business world considered the social, community and environmental dimensions, we might end up coming full circle.”

    The Left never rests. “Inclusive Capitalism” conference?? Seriously? We have to combat the ever expanding lexicon of the Left, in addition to leftism itself. It’s exhausting. 

    I look forward to meeting my first “inclusive capitalist.” It’s like anticipating a root canal.

    • #10
    • May 27, 2014 at 5:29 pm
  11. Profile photo of Chris Campion Thatcher

    True weirding is the power Friedman wields over the weak-minded at the NY Times, in order to convince them that paying him to write these things is a good idea. Also, Tom, try losing the porn-stache, bro – that might work wonders on the Upper West Side but out here in the real world you look like you should be wearing a tracking bracelet on your ankle. Cankle. Skip a meal now and then, too – the world will be less weird.

    Weirding. The Weirding Way? What is he now, a Bene Gesserit? Tell me about your homeworld, Friedman….er, Usul.

    • #11
    • May 27, 2014 at 6:08 pm
  12. Profile photo of Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed. Post author

    Chris Campion:

    True weirding is the power Friedman wields over the weak-minded at the NY Times, in order to convince them that paying him to write these things is a good idea.

     Friedman is such a pedestrian thinker. Never could figure out why he’s held in such esteem.

    • #12
    • May 27, 2014 at 6:19 pm
  13. Profile photo of Chris Campion Thatcher

    What, no props for my sick Dune references?

    Disappointed. The sleeper has not awakened.

    • #13
    • May 27, 2014 at 6:33 pm
  14. Profile photo of Roberto Coolidge

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    Chris Campion:

    True weirding is the power Friedman wields over the weak-minded at the NY Times, in order to convince them that paying him to write these things is a good idea.

    Friedman is such a pedestrian thinker. Never could figure out why he’s held in such esteem.

    Much of his earlier work on the Middle East actually had quite a bit to recommend it. Around 2005 though when he brought out The World Is Flat was the point he really went off the rails. I imagine that Financial Times Book of the Year Award rather went to his head.

    • #14
    • May 27, 2014 at 7:11 pm
  15. Profile photo of Pete EE Member

    I hope Prince Charles never becomes king.

    • #15
    • May 27, 2014 at 9:13 pm
  16. Profile photo of John Hendrix Inactive

    deleted double post

    • #16
    • May 27, 2014 at 9:50 pm
  17. Profile photo of John Hendrix Inactive

    Excellent post, Jon. Consider all of your arguments to have been stolen by me.

    You’re welcome.

    • #17
    • May 27, 2014 at 9:50 pm
  18. Profile photo of profdlp Coolidge

    It’s pretty easy to be anti-capitalism when you’re a prince. For those of us who work for a living it is a little tougher.

    • #18
    • May 27, 2014 at 11:48 pm
  19. Profile photo of Manny Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    Chris Campion:

    True weirding is the power Friedman wields over the weak-minded at the NY Times, in order to convince them that paying him to write these things is a good idea.

    Friedman is such a pedestrian thinker. Never could figure out why he’s held in such esteem.

     My thoughts were running along the same lines. Actually Friedman is less than a pedestrian thinker. There’s something idiotic about him.

    Global warming to climate change to global weirding. It smells of the new deal to the square deal to the fair deal. It’s all trying to find the political jargon that will click with the simple minded. Good article Mr. Gabriel.

    • #19
    • May 28, 2014 at 4:31 am
  20. Profile photo of Owl of Minerva Member

    Friedman has a job at NYT because he repeats back to the readers what they already believe. That’s his job. I’m not even sure if he knows it.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist with respect to climate change. My dad and I often speak about it. He’s a conservative former naval nuclear physicist and an old Texan petroleum company geophysicist. In his view, it’s impossible to think that humankind hasn’t affected the climate in some way, but climate is such a complex system that it’s hard (but not impossible) to pin down how.

    The problem with climate change activists is that they think they are acting on science when they are acting on the moral intuition that acquisition, in capitalism, is self-interested and, hence, immoral. To be moral, then, requires resistance to self-interest and acquisition; climate models are an external validation of that intuition (if the earth is in peril because of acquisition and self-interest, then I am both scientifically-minded and moral). To win an argument about climate change, simply concede the scientific point and attack the moral intuition. It’s an easy workaround the “climate denier” charge.

    • #20
    • May 28, 2014 at 5:05 am
  21. Profile photo of Wordcooper Member

    Chris Campion: Weirding. The Weirding Way? What is he now, a Bene Gesserit? Tell me about your homeworld, Friedman….er, Usul.

     That word (weird) has been forever anchored to Dune for me. Weird, isn’t it?

    • #21
    • May 28, 2014 at 5:33 am
  22. Profile photo of Bob Laing Member

    My general rule of thumb is to dismiss anyone who warns of the dangers of climate change, yet enjoys the benefits of air conditioning. If you increase your carbon footprint by making your house cool in the summer, then you clearly don’t believe in the immediacy of the climate change threat.

    • #22
    • May 28, 2014 at 6:39 am
  23. Profile photo of Larry3435 Member

    Chris Campion:

    What, no props for my sick Dune references?

    Disappointed. The sleeper has not awakened.

    You have to give us more than half an hour for props. I didn’t see your comment right away because I was working on my stilsuit patent, which will keep us all alive once global warming has turned the world into a giant desert. Pass the spice please.

    • #23
    • May 28, 2014 at 7:27 am
  24. Profile photo of Hartmann von Aue Member

    Bob Laing:

    My general rule of thumb is to dismiss anyone who warns of the dangers of climate change, yet enjoys the benefits of air conditioning. If you increase your carbon footprint by making your house cool in the summer, then you clearly don’t believe in the immediacy of the climate change threat.

     Mine is to dismiss anyone who calls CO2 a pollutant and still breathes. Or reads my posts on FB- using that computer, well, my goodness, talk about a non-carbon-neutral-technology…..

    • #24
    • May 28, 2014 at 7:34 am
  25. Profile photo of The Question Member

    I think you are correct. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of the various fossil fuels. There are also advantages and disadvantages to nuclear energy, one of the main advantages being that it produces effectively no air pollution or carbon emissions, and it produces lots of energy. If carbon emissions are as bad as they say they are, and if the Left was serious about wanting to bring carbon emissions down, they would be thinking seriously about nuclear power.

    • #25
    • May 28, 2014 at 8:45 am
  26. Profile photo of George Savage Admin

    Wordcooper:

    Chris Campion: Weirding. The Weirding Way? What is he now, a Bene Gesserit? Tell me about your homeworld, Friedman….er, Usul.

    That word (weird) has been forever anchored to Dune for me. Weird, isn’t it?

     A possible explanation for Obama’s early success: Bene Gesserit training in the Voice.

    • #26
    • May 28, 2014 at 8:55 am
  27. Profile photo of Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed. Post author

    Owl of Minerva: The problem with climate change activists is that they think they are acting on science when they are acting on the moral intuition that acquisition, in capitalism, is self-interested and, hence, immoral.

     Well put.

    • #27
    • May 28, 2014 at 9:28 am
  28. Profile photo of Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed. Post author

    George Savage: A possible explanation for Obama’s early success: Bene Gesserit training in the Voice.

    Perhaps Obamacare is a Killing Word?

    • #28
    • May 28, 2014 at 9:29 am
  29. Profile photo of Old Bathos Member

    Chris Campion:

    What, no props for my sick Dune references?

    Disappointed. The sleeper has not awakened.

     Too subtle. I think a better image of the climate warming/changing/weirding would be Jor-El having to explain to Lara-El that he just shot the baby into outer space by mistake because as it turns out Krypton is just fine. “Sorry, hon. The readings just seemed to make this hockey stick shape and I got these funding offers and well, it just kinda got outta hand. I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

    • #29
    • May 28, 2014 at 10:19 am
  30. Profile photo of Chris Johnson Member

    It’s a shame that so few have caught on. Just to stick with the AGW nonsense for this discussion, consider those gases that are included in the Greenhouse Theory as most potent, such as water vapor. If science had any input, we would be regulating laundramats and those that make soup. And nukes that emit water vapor. The charlatans that lead our universities and the various environmentalist organizations are well aware of this, but there are no current and temporary political targets to aim at for water vapor emissions. There will be, later, and then we shall see the Soup Nazis!

    We’re dealing with people that are, unlike the public at large, well-versed in math and chemistry. They will not tolerate any discussion of math or chemistry in any forum, public or private. Follow the money. It is not about religion. Government money through the NSF and private donations to research from entities seeking protection from environmentalists are completely controlled by the leftists. Government agencies, especially the EPA, fund environmentalist organizations that sue them and “force” them to act under court order, to get around legislative hurdles.

    • #30
    • May 28, 2014 at 4:14 pm
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