The Climate Wars.
If you’ve ever fought someone much bigger and stronger than you, then you learn some lessons quickly or you perish. If you stand your ground, they’ll destroy you, because they’re just so much more powerful than you, so you give ground.
You’ve still got to fight them, so you jab at them as you give ground and go slowly backwards. That’s just tactics. Ground means nothing; it’s pinning and destroying your enemy in the end that’s important. Usually, they’re big bastards not used to people smaller than them standing up to them, so they go after you even harder. It’s a pride thing. You’re going to be made an example of and you know it. They’ve got pretty much everything in terms of advantages but you’ve got heart and mind and you want to survive, not win. That is a big difference. If you can just hang on in there, then you can maybe build from that position.
You have to stop thinking of it as a battle but just a part of a bigger campaign. Bullies do battles very well but campaigns very badly. This particular battle you’ve got no possibility of winning but neither are you going to lose it. The tactical objective is for it to be non-decisive. In strategic terms, you hope to win the campaign by not being exterminated in any particular battle of it. You begin to accept that you are going to have to take some bad beatings but that never means you’re giving up. It’s going to be a slow, miserable and painful business.
It doesn’t matter how many of the opening rounds you lose because you see, by refusing to give up and die, that in itself is a victory. Too many people have already walked away from even fighting the first round; you’re on your own and you know it and that’s just the way the thing is.
You take the punishment but you watch them and learn about them. That left shoulder drops, prepare for that big right roundhouse. The left foot slides backward a fraction and that left shoulder rises, watch for that big right upper cut, coming all the way up from the basement. The head comes back, expect a straight jab. You learn you can break your fists on their chin because it’s made out of granite. They’ve got big upper body development, so you could hammer away on it all day like it’s a side of beef and just tire yourself out.
You learn some stuff about yourself too.
They will land the big hits on you. Some of them will be below the belt but rules like that don’t matter to them, because the referee is on their side too. I suppose that’s where your heart comes in. They beat the hell out of you in that round and you’re on the floor looking up at them and spitting a tooth. It’s all a bit fuzzy, you can’t see them too well but you can see them crowing over putting you on your ass but they’ve made a mistake; they didn’t kill you. You’re still there, still alive and still in the fight and there will be another day and it will be a better one.
You might not have the strength left to get to your feet but you’ve got enough to rock from side to side until eventually you’ve got enough momentum to roll over onto your stomach. The next bit is hard; slide those knees up under you. You do that bit and the arms are still good enough to push hard to get you on all fours. By this stage, your arms have taken encouragement from your legs, so they all act together to get you back on your feet, just in time for the next round and a bit more punishment. You’re up and although a bit wobbly, ready to rock again.
They are just so strong. What can you do?
I have fought the evil anti-human thing that environmentalism metastasised into for many years. I’ve seen good people I had a regard for smashed into the ground by it, because in all innocence, they simply couldn’t help but voice their honest concerns about the simple accuracy of the science or the logical implications of its policies, both for humanity in general and the most vulnerable people on the planet in particular.
Those people were too civilised and decent to understand what they were dealing with; raw naked brutality, so they were destroyed by it. They lost tenure, they lost jobs and they lost that inner optimism that every true scientist still retains in their silly, secret, heart of hearts, about some innate goodness or at least some basic objectivity that they always believed was at the centre of science. What they could never understand was that scientific integrity was irrelevant, it was always about politics, power and money.
They were casualties of war and shouldn’t be forgotten, though they have been. Perhaps in the decades to come, someone will tell their stories. They were good people and deserve that.
You have to find new ways of fighting, because the only way of surviving in that ring with them, is never to get into that ring with them. They’re simply too powerful. You’re going up against official government policy, every major politician, well-funded activist organisations, the scientific establishment, the big moneymen and every organ of the media.
Fighting them with all your heart just isn’t good enough; you’ve got to fight them with your head as well. You have to become a thinker and a planner, to use what you’ve learnt about them and utilise what few resources you have, to somehow come up with a strategy to beat them.
It becomes asymmetric warfare, Robert Taber’s War of the Flea. When you hit them, it’ll never be from the front. It’s hit and run and you always come for them from behind or unexpectedly out of left field. They flail about powerfully but you duck and dive and make sure nothing lands. You learn to use their power and momentum against them, goading them to chase you into narrow situations in which you have control for a change and their full might can’t be brought to bear. It’s strategic JuJitsu. You fight them on your turf and on your terms, never on their’s and only when you know you have a winning tactical advantage. As long as you keep resisting them and surviving, they can’t win. A long guerilla war of attrition is the only strategy available and you know it’ll grind on for years and it did.
The problem the alarmists had, was that there was never anything substantial to hit back at. They had the equivalents of the big guns and the massive air support but there never was a skeptic HQ to be pounded, no big central organisation, no massed ranks of skeptic soldiers or even any third-party backing the resistance. Every one of the skeptics was a lone volunteer guerilla fighter, who needed absolutely no logistical support of any kind to continue the fight indefinitely. The alarmists never understood this, preferring to think that there simply had to be some massive hidden organisation orchestrating the resistance. While they wasted time and effort attacking targets that only existed in their head, each of the guerillas chewed on them mercilessly in their own particular way.
The closest thing they had to a target were the skeptic blogs but these were invulnerable, because they weren’t owned or funded by anyone and were run by unpaid volunteers. The best they could do was vilify the bloggers and send occasional waves of trolls to disrupt the debates, which gradually but inexorably tore the heart out of the pseudo-science, which underpinned global warming.
I think the tide finally started to turn about six months before Climategate I and the Copenhagen debacle. Since then, for a number of reasons and following the various “gates”, it’s all been downhill for the alarmists. I gave my thoughts on why it happened in this piece here but the sheer speed of the movement’s implosion has caught everyone by surprise, including me.
When you look at the Fakegate scandal in the light of the history of the war, the reactions of both sides reflects the nature of the combatants it produced. On the day the material was published, the realists knew something concrete straight away while the alarmists fervently hoped they had something concrete. We knew it was suspect whereas they hoped it was true.
We knew it was suspect because we each knew there was no massive hidden organisation controlling and backing our efforts and there never has been either. Given that fact, the forensics began and that’s why nothing much happened on the skeptic side in immediate response to the publication. Within a few days, in a collective effort using writing style and IT analysis skills that would have put the best forensic lab in the world to shame, the identity thief had been tracked down and the faked material exposed.
The NY Times, with all its resources, went into print on it using several reporters and didn’t once get in touch with the Heartland Institute, not even to get a quote. The DeSmogBlog published within an hour of receipt, again, with absolutely no attempt to verify the material. They abandoned all pretence of journalistic professionalism, because they thought they’d finally found that elusive big target they’d always believed in and hunted so desperately and proceeded to flatten it with all their firepower.
This disparity in the initial reaction is easy to account for. The punishment taken by the skeptics in the early years of the climate wars, had not destroyed them but instead produced a breed of hardy veterans, who dealt in cold realities, rather than hoped for illusions. The real difference between a veteran and an inexperienced soldier, is the former are careful while the latter are fearless.
From any rational viewpoint, Fakegate has turned out to be a disastrous event for the alarmists. When you’re patently losing a battle, you withdraw to conserve your forces to fight another day. Amazingly, they would rather battle on into a self-immolating quagmire of expensive litigation than simply admit they were wrong. It shows a childish petulance that plays exactly into the realist’s hands, who are clever enough to let them get on with it, needing nothing more than the odd prod to encourage their defiance. At some point in the not too distant future, the realists know the people who own those media outlets and employ those journalists, are going to get fed up of writing libel damage cheques to cover the self-righteous crusading of a few prima donna hacks.
When that happens, the remaining elements of the media supportive of the good ship global warming will jump overboard, leaving nobody but a few crazed political activists and bemused scientists on the burning deck. It was always doomed to end that way.
What should have been no more than a tactical loss, has now been mismanaged into a strategic disaster that continues to get bigger with every passing day.
I used to be able to predict what they’d do but that’s become impossible of late. All reason has fled. There’s a real feeling of April 1945, Berlin, der Fuhrerbunker and its mad occupants, barking unrealistic orders down phones and moving long ago destroyed units around on maps, as if it really meant something. It’s all basically becoming more and more hysterical and irrational.
It’s not quite over yet but we’ve beaten them and will have to be satisfied with that. The bitter pill for me, is that none of them will ever stand in a court of law to answer charges of crimes against humanity for the deaths, starvation and poverty that their policies inflicted on the poor around the world. We must now move to get those policies reversed.
These are good days and we should of course enjoy them. It’s round thirteen, there’s a few more to go but we’re now beating the bejesus out of them for a change.
UPDATE: There are simply too many comments on this article, here and elsewhere, for me to reply to individually. Instead, I try to address the bulk of them here.
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