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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Greens' Hysteria

Walter Russel Mead writes about the global-warming alarmists (a.k.a., "Greens"):
In recent days we’ve been hearing a lot of hysterical chatter, from the NYT, the National Geographic, and other media outlets—about how 2012 was the hottest year ever for the continental United States. Obviously, this is evidence that global warming will soon destroy us all ... [Docent: But see my post on why even this is questionable].

Meanwhile, in China, the FT reports the country is having its coldest winter in thirty years, leading to a sharp rise in food prices. India too has had a terribly cold winter. And in the Middle East, a snowstorm has been sweeping across the region and even hit Saudi Arabia, in an usually cold and wet winter for the area.

As we’ve said before, whenever it’s especially warm out, alarmists take that as decisive evidence of our impending doom. When it’s cold or normal, they dismiss it as mere “weather,” if they mention it at all. For much of the green movement, weather only counts as climate when it proves their arguments. A heat wave in Australia is proof that immense disasters are about to strike; cold waves in Eastern Europe and India that kill hundreds of people mean nothing at all.

... the habit of reading every warm spike and every storm as fresh confirmation of the coming apocalypse needs to stop. It’s bad science and it’s bad politics. Green hysteria is more likely to paralyze us then help us take the kind of steps we need to take towards sustainability.

The gravest danger to Earth these days isn’t climate skepticism; it’s the broken, Malthusian and statist green policy imagination. Wedded to grandiose and unworkable “solutions”, greens feel they must push the panic button at every opportunity to stampede the world into embracing an unworkable and unsustainable policy agenda.

... The Al Gore path (alarmism, hypocrisy, dumb policy solutions, green pig lipsticking or corporate subsidies disguised as green breakthroughs) will not bend the curve. Until the green movement internalizes this lesson and moves on, it will waste its energy on foolishness like the failed Kyoto Protocol and ethanol subsidies and greens will have little constructive impact on a planet they claim to love.
Mead misses the point. Alarmism and stampeding people into dumb policy solutions is the purpose. The issue here (and Al Gore provides the model) isn't about saving the planet. It's about powerful people living in huge mansions, making fortunes from government-subsidized "green" companies and government mandated carbon tax trading schemes, sexually harassing the peons that work for them, and selling out to Middle-Eastern oil interests through hindering development of our domestic sources of petroleum. In other words--it's all about money and power.

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