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Time to Fan the Flames of Civil War Between Climate Alarmists and Their Influential Allies
In his December 19th article, COP 25: Paris Accord destroyed, Dr. David Wojick describes the new civil war that has erupted between climate alarmist extremists and alarmist moderates. Wojick, an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology, and policy, explains:
In Madrid the “Action Now!” radicals would not even consider compromise. Their extremism then caused the moderates to take hard-line positions as well, so the COP stalled out and failed to act on any significant issue. That what the radicals demand is impossible did not help. The negotiating machinery ground to a noisy halt.
That is great news, of course. Standing up for a realistic view of climate change and energy will become less daunting if our opponents are fighting amongst themselves. But it is not enough. Climate realists, those of us who promote policies based on a proper understanding of science and economics, need to do everything in our power to drive a wedge between climate change alarmists and their powerful allies in other fields as well.
Arguably the greatest strategic triumph of climate alarmism has been to associate the movement with liberalism in general and environmentalism in particular. Because most influential opinion leaders in society—mainstream media, scientists, and teachers—are liberals, the close association between global warming advocacy and these groups results in alarmism being regularly boosted in the press, classrooms, and at conferences across the world. It is as if the movement had access to a vast, free public relations service amplifying their message far louder than they could ever afford if they had to pay for it themselves.
Climate alarmism is further boosted by the broadly-accepted perception that ‘stopping climate change’ is an integral part of environmental protection. None of these associations make any sense, of course—climate alarmism actually violates many liberal causes and has little to do with real environmental protection.
But it makes no difference. Climate alarmism drives public policy throughout the world largely because of its powerful alliance with liberalism and environmentalism. So, let’s take a quick look at some of the very real and important points we can present to liberals and sensible environmentalists to encourage them to finally kick climate activists off the stage.
The most obvious example is that the drive to ‘stop climate change’ has resulted in the deployment of expensive wind and solar power across the world. As I explained in my December 3rd presentation at the seminar hosted by The Heartland Institute in Madrid, Spain to counter this year’s UN climate conference, prices for new solar and wind power vastly exceed that of conventional energy sources. This has essentially no impact on the wealthy since power costs represent such a small proportion of their overall living expenses. But the impact on the poor and those living on fixed incomes can be exceptionally difficult to manage. Social justice warriors should be outraged by this trend.
Left-wing activists should also be upset that, in the name of ‘stopping global warming,’ developed countries appear reluctant to help developing countries take advantage of their abundant, inexpensive hydrocarbon fuel resources. In his book, The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism, Steve Goreham, Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America, cites the example of the $3.9 billion loans approved by World Bank in 2010 for the construction of South Africa’s Medupi power station, slated to be the fourth-largest coal-fired electricity generating station in the world. The U.S. member of the World Bank board abstained from approval because of his concerns about climate change. The representatives of four European nations did the same. They apparently wanted poor countries to use wind and solar power instead, sources that are too expensive for widespread use even in wealthy nations. The loan passed only because developing country representatives on the World Bank board voted for approval.
This situation will only get worse. Goreham writes,
“Environmental groups such as BankTrack, Friends of the Earth, and Rainforest Action Network have forced most major banks to sign the ‘Equator Principles.’ The Principles demand that banks lend only in an environmentally responsible manner. This responsibility increasingly precludes lending to projects involving oil, gas, and coal-fired power plants… Under tremendous pressure, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and most other banks of the world have surrendered and signed the Equator Principles.”
Because of the politically correct, but scientifically flawed hypothesis of CO2-driven climate problems, “the growth of hydrocarbon energy will be limited and millions will continue to suffer in the developing world—a form of eco-genocide,” Goreham concludes.
The expanded use of biofuels to supposedly reduce CO2 emissions to ‘stop climate change’ has resulted in a significant fraction of the world’s grain going to fuel instead of food. In its January 29, 2015 press release, Friends of Science (FOS), an Alberta-based climate realist group, explained how this is leading to disaster for many of the world’s poorest people. FOS cite former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Zeigler, who in 2007 called for a five-year moratorium on biofuel production in an official UN communique. Zeigler was candid, “It is a crime against humanity to convert agricultural productive soil into the soil which produces foodstuff that will be burned into biofuel.”
The growing demand for biofuels is also creating problems for indigenous landowners in developing countries, especially those in Indonesia and Malaysia where the vast majority of the world’s palm oil is grown. In Palm Oil and Biofuels Policy Reform, a February 2015 open letter to the European Parliament endorsed by 197 worldwide civil society organizations from across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, it was asserted,
“This relentless drive for palm oil has devastating and often irreversible consequences for people and the environment in our countries.”
The letter describes how the encroachment of palm oil plantations is forcing the displacement of people from their ancestral homes and causing detrimental environmental impacts:
“Palm oil plantations require huge amounts of water and contaminate vital water sources with effluents including rivers and lakes used for fishing, washing, and drinking. The destruction of forests and fertile agricultural land to make way for oil palm plantations is jeopardizing the food sovereignty and cultural integrity of entire communities who depend on the land as their source of food and livelihoods.”
The civil society organizations pleaded with Members of the European Parliament:
“Unless you take action to restrict demand for biofuels, Europe will continue to force the transformation of our countries’ vital forests, community lands, and biodiversity hot-spots into industrial-scale, monoculture oil palm plantations.”
Similarly, because activists have convinced politicians that humans control our planet’s climate as if we had a global thermostat, only about 1/20th of the over $1 billion spent every day across the world on climate finance goes to assisting people to adapt to the very real challenges they face today due to natural climate change.
The remainder is dedicated to trying to stop hypothetical human-caused climate change that might someday happen. No matter what one’s political orientation, it should be clear that letting people suffer today to possibly help those in the future is immoral.
By now, many in the public have heard of the carnage that Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs), erected in the name of stopping climate change,’ often inflict on local bird and bat populations. The mortality statistics for Spain alone is sobering: that country’s 18,000 wind turbines are killing between 6 and 18 million birds and bats every year. And, of course, the consequences for people living near IWTs can be severe as well. Besides a significant loss in property value, health concerns abound, largely due to the infrasound, low-frequency noise that penetrates everything in its path.
Liberals have often ridiculed conservatives for supposedly being absolute about morals, politics, and even science. For example, Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity was supported by the German left, while those on the right opposed it, believing it threatened their cultural worldview. But this expected approach—relativism and skepticism from liberals and absolutism from conservatives—has been turned upside down in the climate debate. While right-wingers call for open debate about the causes of climate change, the Left considers such discussion intolerable and behaves as if we know the future of climate decades in advance, a position that is indefensible, scientifically, and philosophically. It must be explained to progressives: by unquestioningly supporting climate alarmism, they have sold out philosophically, declining to employ the skepticism they like to think they would normally practice.
Attempting to divorce your enemy from its allies is a strategy as old as warfare itself, of course. Julius Caesar used ‘divide and conquer’ during the Gallic Wars to overcome the militarily strong Gauls. So did Napoleon and a host of other leaders throughout history. And, of course, it is the lack of unity amongst Arab nations that is a major factor in Israel’s continuing existence despite its small size in comparison with its Islamic neighbors.
Wojick concludes his piece about the extremist/moderate split in the climate alarmist community by observing:
“Ironically the Paris Agreement has been killed by the irrational fear of climate change that spawned it in the first place…They [the extremists] are wrecking the climate scare political movement. It is like I am fighting an enemy force and suddenly it is having an endless civil war. I am all for that.”
It’s clearly time to fan the flames of even larger civil wars between climate alarmism and its powerful allies.
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