Know your enemy : the climate activist.

Robot03

In the context of this series of articles about getting to know the opposition, I think it’s important at an early stage to get a realistic view of what we’re actually dealing with when it comes down to this particular category, because so many of the people who fall into the other categories I’ll be covering are actually motivated more by their activist politics than anything else.

Instead of just diving straight into the profile, let’s take a different approach and simply pose some questions to a pure free range specimen of a climate activist, the answers to which should guide us towards a more realistic appraisal of what we’re actually dealing with. When I say pure, I’m talking about the ones who won’t dissemble and are too arrogant to tone down their true opinions. Even though they represent an extreme, we can still nethertheless learn something about the more moderate ones by studying them. There are all just different shades of the same drivers, from the centre out to the melting pole.

Having interacted with them not only at a distance as a public opponent, but up close and personal as a supposed fellow traveller, I know only to well what their answers will be. If you’ve ever tried to have a reasoned discussion with them in the blogosphere, you will too. Think of it as a rhetorical variation of the Socratic method.

Given that the wind doesn’t blow all the time nor the sun shine every day, we obviously need some sort of backup generation capacity. Would building coal-fired plants fitted with carbon capture technology be acceptable to you? The answer to that is no, because it wouldn’t stop the death trains rolling. Okay, how about nuclear? Oh my God, definitely not, thousands died of radiation at Fukushima. How about using an inherently safer technology like Thorium reactors? No, still no, no nuclear under any circumstances.

How about using shale gas, isn’t it much cleaner than coal? No way, because of the earthquake risk. But if we don’t use shale gas, won’t all of our heavy manufacturing just relocate to countries like America, where they’re exploiting shale gas and energy prices have now dropped to one-third of ours? No rational answer because they don’t do basic economics, never mind business.

But what will we do for power when you’ve closed down all the coal and nuclear plants? No problem, by then we’ll already have switched over to renewables.

But renewables don’t seem to be working. After a decade of subsidies, most governments seem to be giving up and cutting back on supporting them. Aren’t they just too expensive? Only at the moment but as the efficiencies of volume production kick in, they’ll become much cheaper than conventional power sources. But after a decade of subsidising them, shouldn’t they be cheaper already? No, such a fundamental infrastructure change takes time.

Okay, but even if renewables do get cheaper, won’t doing things like growing biofuel crops instead of staple crops inevitably push up the price of basic foods for the poor? No answer.

But surely forcing the poor, vulnerable and elderly into fuel poverty will cause real hardship, never mind some of them needlessly freezing to death over winter? That can’t be bringing about a brave new world, can it? Yes it will. I’m afraid they’re just hardships we have to be hard-hearted enough to take, in order to bring about a greater good. We’re saving the Earth here, and making it fit for billions yet to be born into a better and more equal world. It’s merely the logical consequence of the Precautionary Principle.

How can it be right to deny poor farmers in the developing world access to GM crops that are disease and drought resistant? Surely more of them would survive such natural disasters? Again, they’re just part of the price we must pay not to interfere with nature. But we’ve always selected the best seeds to gradually improve crops, how’s GM any different? It’s biotechnology, therefore it’s evil. But wouldn’t using disease resistant GM crops cut down on having to use insecticides? No.

Okay, how about at least letting them have unhindered access to DDT, to eliminate Malaria like we did in the developed world half a century ago? Wouldn’t that save millions of lives? No, there’s other things we can do that don’t damage the environment. What things? Mosquito nets. But even if they could afford nets, how are they supposed to go about their lives inside a net? No answer. But we eliminated Malaria in the developed world using DDT, and as far as I can see, we’ve actually got a better environment that the developing world. How did that harm our environment? We saved various birds like eagles going extinct. Is that the same eagles that the windmills are chopping up? No answer.

Let’s knock it on the head there, but if that were a conversation with them in the real world or on the internet, it would never have got as far as it did. I didn’t even get around to the even scarier subjects of their views on things like population control amongst other things. For posing such simple but awkward questions, I’d have been shouted down as a denier and would be fending off a blizzard of the usual ad hominem attacks.

Incidentally, if you want to take a walk on the wild side of the internet by spending some time on alarmist blogs or in chat rooms, never ever correct them on statements like thousands dying of radiation at Fukushima – you’ll only get spotted, chucked out and that’d be then end of some pretty great but eye-opening entertainment. The other things you’ll have to successfully pull off in your new guise as a cuckoo in their nest, is feigning an IQ drop of 20 points, raising your gullibility quotient by 50 and faking a humour bypass operation. It’s great fun, especially when you join in, but resist the temptation to see just how far you can go over the top. It’s a lot further than you might think …

Anyway, what have we found out about them by asking simple but awkward questions and letting them steamroller us with their replies?

Looking at the segment covering energy generation, by shutting down conventional plants and mandating a switch over to wholly inadequate alternatives, the inescapable conclusion is that they’re against industrialisation and not only want to roll it back in the developed world, but stifle it at birth in the developing world. How realistic an objective that is, is shown by the US Congress refusing to ratify what came back from Kyoto by a vote of ninety-four to zero and the developing world telling them at Copenhagen precisely where they could stick any bribe intended to stop them industrialising.

They like to portray themselves, and are commonly perceived, as well left of centre but that sort of anti-industrialisation sentiment would have been total anathema to your classic Marxist-Leninist, or even slightly left of centre socialist. For them, it was always five-year plans building massive factories to churn out more and more tractors, to catch up with the despised capitalists. Catch up or die was their battle cry and rapid industrialisation was their prime method to reach that objective. China, busily building two coal-fired generation plants a week, is still on that path, hence their willingness to represent the developing world and squash Copenhagen and every climate conference since.

If you judge them by their policies rather than their words, these people are simply not classic leftists.

The inescapable bottom line is that they are anti-industrial and that quite naturally extends out to being anti-technological, but it goes out even further than that. The last century was the giant leap forward of physics and this century is going to belong to biology, and most especially bio-engineering, which will also bring with it its own fair share of heavy ethical problems. That genie is already out of the bottle, and any country that thinks it can opt out of that revolution will soon get left behind.

They actually don’t like science and in point of fact, they despise it and its practitioners as useful but nerdy tools to be used. The bits of science that advance the cause are okay, but everything else is deeply distrusted. That’s why they’ve no problem distorting it any way which suits their aims.

They talk about helping out the poor and the needy, but are quite simply indifferent to the very real suffering their policies visit upon those people. The big dirty central lie at the heart of their politics is that they really care about the poor, whether in the developed or developing world. No matter what they say, their policies rather than their words condemn them as power-hungry, callous elitists, quite happy to sacrifice the poor on the bloody altar of Gaia.

Their strength is that they’re good organisers, from knowing how to manipulate the levers in the higher circles of political power, right down to organising the unthinking foot soldiers on the street. They’re deft at shaping and getting their message out to the propaganda machine, otherwise known as the mainstream media, but their fanaticism occasionally blinds them to how unacceptable their message is to the ordinary person. Blowing children into bloody lumps of meat in the hastily withdrawn 10:10 video was a spectacular case in point.

They’re great talkers but poor listeners and that’s compounded by them only ever taking counsel from their own kind. If they got out of their own ideological bunker a bit more, their propaganda might be more effective.

Their strength and their weakness, is the inflexibility of every fanatic. They never give up, don’t do compromise or half measures. The question they never ask themselves is not am I going too far, but rather am I pushing hard enough?

Their prime driver is their politics and while the particular political creed they subscribe to varies as much as schisms in any fundamentalist church, it’s essentially the same church and it’s a variation of that tired old Marxist-Leninist idea of reshaping the world by reshaping people. All else is subordinate to that grand dream. Wealth will be redistributed as they see fit, all men and women will be made equal and the green regulatory state will control everyone and everything to make sure it all happens, and God help anyone who stands in its way.

In terms of finding an appropriate category to place their politics in, you’re driven to the inescapable conclusion that it’s some sort of weird new-age feudalism, with them seeing themselves as the benevolent lords of the manor who know what’s best for everyone else and are carefully looking after a forcefully created agrarianised peasantry, who’ll just love them to bits for it. The last people to try that were the Khmer Rouge, who managed to kill two million of their own people.

There were so many inherent contradictions in their ragbag political philosophy, that it was simply doomed to fall apart when they tried to implement it for real. I fully expect its demise will be marked with some extraordinarily vicious infighting over largely irrelevant doctrinal points, which will make things like the suppression of the POUM look like a family squabble over Sunday lunch.

I find them the most difficult to discern any saving graces in. Yes, I know they’re not all so extreme but even the relatively moderate ones unquestionably support the policies being pushed by the extremists. At this late stage, ignorance of the real world consequences of their actions is no excuse. I’ve got well inside the heads of the more hard-core ones and must confess I really don’t like what I’ve found in there.

Even after backing my feelings off to an objective distance, and contrary to my best efforts, I find I quite simply despise them. There’s nothing wrong with that strong emotion as long as you don’t let it blind your judgement. I don’t feel guilty at admitting that simple fact to myself and anyway, I find it motivates me.

There’s a line of dialogue in the original Terminator movie, where Kyle Reese is trying to get Sarah Connor to get her head right about what she’s up against. It’s very appropriate when dealing with a dedicated climate activist. “Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”

That’s all you need to know about them, and after that, the only thing remaining is to figure out is how to beat them.

©Pointman

Related articles by Pointman:

Intentions, profiles and predictability.

Some thoughts on fanatics and how to fight them.

The decline of the environmental lobby’s political influence.

Click here for all articles in the know your enemy series.

Click for a list of other articles.

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Comments
29 Responses to “Know your enemy : the climate activist.”
  1. Rick Bradford says:

    The key to my understanding of the Alarmists came when I realised that they are driven by emotion, not reason.

    How many times have you read something like “Fiona/Tarquin is passionately committed to achieving climate justice….”. It’s stated as if it’s a good thing. But passion is emotion, strong enough to overwhelm reason.

    And because emotion is so brittle, the Alarmists perforce are petty, dogmatic and vindictive in their defence of their emotional position.

    It is the dogmatism that undermines them; they cannot allow the slightest element of doubt or compromise in their position, which is why they are so shrill and repetitive about announcing ‘the science is settled, the debate is over.’

    But rigid defence of a single position is unsustainable; creatures that cannot adapt become extinct.

    I am convinced that skepticism about CAGW is an idea whose time has come. Watching Alarmists trying to negotiate a way off the sinking ship is going to be this year’s big spectator sport.

  2. Bill K says:

    Commited activist are like priests in a cult religion so the Terminator analogy is a good one. They can not be reasoned or bargined with. We skeptic foot soldiers can try isolate the activists by taking out their foot soldiers (their flocks) but the only sure way to neutralize the activists is for the top skeptics to take out the top alarmists. The skeptic world has made good strides at discrediting some hypocritical alarmists leaders like Al Gore but there is work to done to silence the activist scientists. Blow up the mother machine and maybe the robots will drop away.

    I agree with Rick that activists(and foot soldiers) are driven by emotion versus reason so introducing doubt is the best way to break the mind control hold. Low climate sensitivity is the best chink in their armor and it works with foot soldiers but commited activists may need to see the bishops and even the pope recant before their faith is shaken.

  3. Timbo says:

    Great post and I’m still digesting it. Only one tiny point: weren’t those snuff videos called 10:10?

  4. newminster says:

    Great post. Could have written it myself!
    (In fact, at various times over the last 20 years I probably have.)
    The objective has always been what I have described as “unpicking the Industrial Revolution”. They don’t like DDT or pesticides in general or artificial fertilisers or GM crops because they’re (shock horror) Chemicals! Which in reality tells you everything you need to know about their understanding of the world around them, including human biology.
    They are human steamrollers. When challenged or argued with or even when they are denied what they want they trundle on is if you weren’t there until in too many instances it becomes easier just to get out of their way and hope they don’t do too much damage before they’re sussed.
    Your comparison with Terminator is very apt.

    • Trudy Cashel says:

      Not only have the kids been coached in learning institutions but when you consider how many Hollywood fiction and science fiction movies have been embroidered with the green activist versus big energy thread it’s no surprise so many minds are trapped in that bandwidth.

      Does Pointman’s comparison of climate activist behaviour to that of the machines in Terminator merely scratch the surface of Hollywood’s involvement in the entire movement?
      Is it just a coincidence that there has been an upsurge of A Listers selling off mansions as the renewable subsidies are dialled back, and in spite of the long bull run in the stock market?

  5. Daniel says:

    Out of curiosity I went to a meeting in Oxford held by some of these people. They really do believe that they are good people, that all their opponents are funded by big oil and they must never give up. They discussed infanticide approvingly. Scary scary people.

  6. Graeme No.3 says:

    Re their antipathy to “chemicals”; I once read in a greenie magazine – you know the sort, everybody ‘self sufficient’ on their own 20 acres of fertile, well watered farming land, with internet connection and close to hospitals, entertainment and jobs etc. – an advertisement for Scot’s Phenyle.

    This was a ‘green’ product because it had been used for over 100 years, and didn’t contain any dangerous man made chemicals. It was what the Victorians called Coal Tar Oil.

    It was probably a very efficient disinfectant for toilets etc. but the joke was that only that week the paint company had banned coal tar oil from use, as too dangerous. ( used in coal tar epoxies for long life in-ground pipeline coatings and in paint strippers).

    Indeed a short investigation showed up that there were quite a number of products used by the public which were far too toxic/ corrosive to be used even on a site where full isolation gear was available and used.

    Ignorance might be bliss, but I think that some of these activists might find reverting back two centuries also means that expected lifetimes are the same as 2 centuries ago.

  7. stewgreen says:

    Understand that we live in a different universe
    – THERE IS REAL “accelerating climate change effects”, which are PROVED to be MAN MADE, which is showing up in real world changes* like decreasing Arctic sea ice, Tropical Hotspot etc.

    ….. BUT only in the Green parallel universe you get from BBC, Guardian, SkepticalScience , Oz ABC and surrounding yourself with GreenDreamBelievers and exacerbated by the ECHO CHAMBER effect of the heavily CENSORED comment blogs (“comment is UNfree” in the Guardian)

    * when you filter out all the other non-manmade trends like naturally variability of 10, 20 & 60 year cycles, and the long term trend of slowly rising temp coming out of an ice age

    – In the real universe there is not an obvious Man made accelerating effect on top of the long term raising trend.

  8. johanna says:

    I think that another common characteristic needs to be mentioned – the absolute refusal to give their opponents any credit for either integrity or care about the environment.

    While many sceptics are prepared to admit that at least some greenies are good-hearted, if misguided (especially the young ones), how often do we see the reverse? Nope, we are nature-hating, planet destroying, Big Oil funded, lying, grandchildren-killing psychopaths, to a man and woman.

    The sheer absurdity of this position is no barrier to the true believers, who might otherwise have to climb down from their ivory towers of perfect rightness and engage in civilised debate.

  9. Jon says:

    A ‘green activist’ is someone who’s never lived anywhere outside a city.

  10. stan stendera says:

    In historic Mexico the Aztecs sacrificed virgins atop their pyramids to plead for a good harvest. They were more honorable then the warmists. At least the Aztecs killed with their own hands. The warmists kill second hand. They promote and even mandate biofuel which causes starvation. They ban DDT which has caused 20,000,000 to 200 million deaths (pick your estimate, I think it’s closer to 200,000,000 million) mostly in Africa and Asia. They insist and mandate “renewable” energy production which has caused many thousands of deaths in Europe from energy poverty.
    How would you feel if your child was dying from starvation because the price of subsistence food had grown beyond your meager income. How would you like to be the African Mother holding her feverish child waiting for it to die of malaria because DDT has been banned. How would you like to be the pensioner in England unable to both heat your tiny flat and feed yourself. Dante’s Hell had no circle cold enough for these pitiful excuses for humans.

  11. stan stendera says:

    By the way, great post and great site Pointman.

  12. NoFixedAddress says:

    “Even after backing my feelings off to an objective distance, and contrary to my best efforts, I find I quite simply despise them.”

    Rightly or wrongly I have arrived at the conclusion that the greatest motivation of aggression is fear.

    That is FEAR.

    When people FEAR they will latch on to violence on a broad scale.

    Its part of the flight or fight syndrome that I do not believe has been given enough prominence.

    Quite frankly all Government funded education is a total waste of money.

    There is something to be said for child labour/labor and apprenticeship.

    If you want a feel good check this,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=UJrSUHK9Luw

    Cheers

  13. NoFixedAddress says:

    And, for what it is worth, I have had to try and correct a bullshit meme that we are running out of food.

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/1301.0~2012~Main%20Features~Farming%20in%20Australia~207

    and Pointman first directed me to this greatest sadness I cannot believe that the FEAR mongers will stop…

    http://www.goldenrice.org/

    It is unbelievable that the twisted bent brained criminal folk could actually have credence in our society’s.

    .

  14. Blackswan says:

    Pointman

    It seems ‘climate activists’ now includes OBummer who, “for the sake of our children” is going to save the planet …..

    “Washington: Declaring that the world does not have time for “a meeting of the flat earth society” before it acts on climate change, US President Barack Obama has unveiled a package of measures to reduce American carbon emissions, lead global moves towards clean energy and prepare for the impact of climate change.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/obama-unveils-sweeping-climate-plan-20130626-2ovsl.html?rand=1372197454293

    And we ‘flat earthers’ can make our own arrangements.

    This announcement has hit the Australian MSM today and not a single challenge from our lily-livered journalists, just a faithful reporting of the “facts Ma’am and nothin’ but the facts.”

    Local polls here suggest that only 30% of those who participated want our Carbon Dioxide Tax repealed. If that’s true, then it’s a further indictment of our MSM’s failure to inform people that subsidies for wind/solar are what is driving our huge energy bills causing so much industry to close or go offshore and the fuel-poverty of our most disadvantaged and vulnerable people.

    There must be a point at which MSM “useful idiots” become complicit in the Fraud and stand equally culpable. We’ve past the point of no return.

  15. hazze says:

    Their akillesheal is that they make ppl very very tired in the long run…here in Sweden the skeptics dont win the debate with facts only..they win coz the green fanatics just wear the public down with their chatter. So right,so good,they just cant stop telling u,they just cant :-)

  16. Blackswan says:

    Pointman

    A news update from the Antipodes:

    Our esteemed geologist and anti-CAGW campaigner Professor Bob Carter, a lone voice in the wilderness, has been fired.

    Carter was on the faculty of James Cook University for over 20 years and since his retirement some years ago, has been an Adjunct Professor with all rights and privileges accorded that position; the culmination of a 30 year relationship with the university.

    I just heard a radio interview with Carter who said the explanation to him from Management was that they didn’t have the time or inclination to continue fielding the influx of protests and inquiries regarding Carter’s views on CAGW. He suspects that the release of his new book, “Taxing the Air”, may have contributed to the situation.

    So it seems the subject of your post this week, the Climate Activists, have conducted a concerted campaign of harrassment to wear down the weak-kneed university boffins and destroy a man’s 30 year body of work with that university.

    If the radio station posts a podcast later, I’ll give you the link and you can hear Carter’s story for yourself.

    Now those university students will have no alternate views presented to them – just an onslaught of Climate hysterics and indoctrination.

    • Blackswan says:

      This is the link of the Bob Carter interview with broadcaster Chris Smith ….

      [audio src="http://webstore.2gb.com/audio/the-chris-smith-afternoon-show/201306/26-bob-carter.mp3" /]

  17. johanna says:

    Thanks, Blackswan.

    If it is true that the University got rid of him because they didn’t have the guts to say that academic merit does not require defending from activists, it is sad indeed. It is not like the Lewandowsky case, where the University of Western Australia refused to consider complaints about genuine breaches of its policies and protocols about the way research was conducted and subsequently presented. To the best of my knowledge, no-one has ever levelled a substantive accusation of sloppy research, fraud or misconduct at Dr Carter. They just don’t like what he is saying.

    What’s more, the University seems to be sending a message that if you want to get rid of someone, just keep pestering us like an annoying toddler, and eventually we will give in just to get some peace.

    Mind you, I’m surprised he lasted that long, given that James Cook is a hotbed of alarmists, led by otherwise unemployable marine biologists doing endless Henny-Pennys about the Great Barrier Reef.

  18. Pointman says:

    Next comes this I suppose.

    Pointman

  19. Reblogged this on Power To The People and commented:
    Green extremists are blind to the beneficial impact to the environment of enhancing CO2 concentrations. They fail to see that any preceived negative impacts have been small when compared to the public health benefits associated with affordable and reliable carbon-based energy and energy from nuclear power. Nor do they aknowledge the toxic impacts “green” energy has on the environment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rORiooCvMac
    Their real motivation is fear and loathing of humanity and life itself.

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