Know your enemy : Kamikaze politicians, environmental organisations, greedy pigs, celebrity prats and the penultimate enemy.
Before the final and to my mind the most important article in this series, I thought I’d roll up the remaining parties into one piece, since most of them I’ve already covered in some depth in other articles, the appropriate links to which you’ll find at the bottom of this page.
The Kamikaze politician is a rare bird in grown up politics. They’re someone who keeps on pushing a deeply unpopular policy they’re emotionally committed to, which stands absolutely no chance of ever becoming popular with an electorate, at the ultimate expense of their career. Because of such poor political judgement, they only very rarely become leaders of major parties but more usually they’re extremely successful leaders who’ve allowed the consequent adulation to go to their head and have therefore lost touch with their natural constituency. It’s a career disaster caused by arrogant pride. Julia Gillard with her carbon tax was an example of the former and Margaret Thatcher with her poll tax an example of the latter.
In either case, their party is faced with the stark decision of whether it’ll go down with them or throw them overboard. Since leaders come and go but a political party must abide, the obvious choice is made. They know they’ll probably still get a drubbing at the next election but the consolation is that it’ll be a less severe one without the Kamikaze politician leading it. If there’s one thing that otherwise sound politicians are bad at, it’s knowing when to leave the stage, which is probably why Enoch Powell made the shrewd observation that all political careers end in failure.
Any politician still deeply wedded to the mania of global warming and pushing unpopular mitigation policies, will in the coming years be pushed out of the mainstream and into the political backwaters reserved for extremists, eccentrics or in their case, monomaniacs. The smart ones readjusted their position at least three years ago in the aftermath of the Copenhagen fiasco by going silent about the whole issue. It now only remains to be seen which one of them will be the first to ride the growing backlash against it for the extra votes it’ll get. Such is the nature of the political beast.
When it comes to what can be termed an environmental organisation, I take a very broad view of what falls into that category. Under that umbrella resides not only the obvious political groups such as Greenpeace and the WWF but also the professional organisations such as the American Physical Society and the Royal Society, politically compromised regulatory bodies such as the EPA and most of the mainstream churches. You are what you do, rather than what people think you do.
What they all have in common is that they’ve strayed well off their primary mission, to become uncritical advocates of the new faith of global warming. They no longer address their founding ideals and indeed their new faith is in many cases diametrically opposed to those original ideals.
The leadership of professional associations of scientists now unashamedly proclaim that not only is science settled but also it’s been done by consensus, while suppressing the expression of alternative theories. Conservation groups like the bird protection societies support things like windmills, which kill birds by the million. Religions refuse to see the damage being done to the most vulnerable people in their own flocks by the very environmental policies they endorse.
Some of them now believe their primary mission is to save the planet and some have just been simply hijacked by cabals of politically motivated administrators. Quite frankly, if an organisation no longer addresses its primary goal, the rank and file membership has to wrest back control of it or if that can’t be done, resign and perhaps if the rot is incurably systemic, found a new organisation rededicated to the original ideals. You’d be surprised at the effect a long string of public resignation letters by its most respected members can have on the apparatchiks of any organisation. At the end of the day, they do know they’re twats. The late Hal Lewis, intellectually courageous to the end, showed by his leadership example what had to be done to protect the science he loved.
The major greedy pigs all disappeared three years ago with the demise of the Chicago Carbon Exchange. The EU emission trading scheme is slowly limping into oblivion, since nobody has the money to support it and the EU itself appears to be more than a little reluctant to indulge in what would amount to market manipulation to defend a carbon price that’s in free fall. The Australian equivalent looks to be doomed and as it’s already cost one Prime Minister her job, has lost all meaningful political backing. You’d have to be a real gung-ho speculator to go near anything like that, which comes with a scrotum shrivelling risk to reward ratio.
All the major carbon trading desks have been zapped or radically downsized to a part-time job for the office junior, who holds down that post manfully with the pinkie finger of their left hand. Basically, all the big boys have long ago cut their losses and gone back to punting on steadier things like pork belly futures, a market whose existence doesn’t rely on changing political fads. Serious money, as always, is a bullshit free commodity.
What remains is a large collection of diverse piglets; corrupt politicians abusing state appointments to their financial advantage, alarmist scientists defending their research funding, NGOs wheedling for grant money to continue their good works, companies with bombed out share prices sucking desperately on the subsidy oxygen line to survive, numerous rent seeking environmental groups and various messianic figures on a nice little earner, preaching the road to salvation to their adoring worshippers. Praise the Lord but keep on passing that collection tray around.
They’ve all begun to sense we’re moving into the endgame, so the money trough is nearly obscured by the airborne splatters of pigswill as they frantically elbow each other aside for their fair share of that obscene end of the world final feeding frenzy from hell. It’s not a pretty sight, but then again, raw naked greed never is.
On the celebrity prat front, that’s mostly their autonomous PR machines automatically latching onto the latest feel good trending issue. I may be doing him an injustice, but the trenchant insights of someone like Justin Beber on just about anything would probably fit comfortably on a pinhead without overcrowding any of its resident angels. A pinhead on a pinhead, I suppose. As concern about global warming has dropped out of style, so has their PR agent’s most sincere support for it.
When you look at what they do, rather than what they say, the truth reveals itself in not so mysterious ways. For instance, “Carbon” Cate Blanchett in a moving La Pasionaria moment, spoke up most touchingly on behalf of the poor islanders of Tuvalu, who were supposedly threatened by rising sea levels. She must have taken a shine to the place because within a few months, she’d dropped a few million dollars and some spare change buying prime beachfront property there. Needless to say, her rent-a-cop security don’t let her dear pigmentally challenged natives anywhere near her private beach. There’s only so far a film star is prepared to go, even for the most righteous dude causes.
Celebrity scientists lecture us with authority from atop a mountain of Olympian morality but a quick look into their own lifestyles reveals a hypocrisy that would put the most brazen Tammany Hall politician to shame. For example, Prof. James Lovelock, that iconic elder statesman of the movement who first proposed the Gaia hypothesis, has the nerve to lecture us on population control, but a little bit of investigation into his own background reveals he’s sired four children, who’d already produced twelve grandchildren the last time I looked. We are the savage race unto which they think they’re entitled to mete and dole unequal laws.
Tinsel Town is all about money, not entertainment and certainly not propaganda, unless it just happens to be earning well at the moment. It’s all about getting at least a break even number of bums on seats and of late, all the environmentally themed movies have been box office lemons, irrespective of who was in them. Sorry Matt, but if it ain’t grossing well, it’s gone, so it’s back to the Bourne franchise for you, old sport. People are bored with environmental scares and in general don’t like preachy films anyway. From now on, it looks as if the catastrophe junkies will have to get their fix of celluloid ecoarmageddon from low-budget independent movies or a bit of disaster schlock on the Sci-Fi channel.
Apart from the fanatical believers, it’s by now plainly obvious to you, me, most other grownups and even the mutants on table nine, where we are in the war against climate alarmism. The politicians steer clear of it like it’s electoral wolfsbane, the alarmist scientists are now a laughing-stock, environmental desks and journalists are being culled to the point of joining the snailbat on the endangered species list and Joe Voter has absolutely no time at all for the whole issue.
The creeping feeling of an impending alarmist Götterdämmerung has hardly been toned down by a certain tree house gang being caught photoshopping themselves into WWII German uniforms, though to my not untrained eye, the collar tabs looked disturbingly more Waffen SS rather than Wehrmacht. Interestingly, not a single woman was involved in their graphic fantasies but there was a particularly unsettling image produced by grafting the heads of prominent skeptics onto the bodies of macho semi-naked Spartan warriors, each of whom was showing off a rather good six-pack and a bulging jockstrap. They all looked very butch.
Country boy but broad-minded though I like to think I am, I’ve never quite understood that homoerotic Nazi uniforms fetish thing and on sober reflection, don’t want to think about it too deeply either. Too many disturbing shades of what happened at the Blue Oyster bar, if you know what I mean. You do have to wonder what on Earth goes through the heads of some people at times. They could perhaps keep Justin and the angels company, just as long as they promise not to do any goose-stepping.
Anyway, cringing away from the thought of why they might possibly have worked so hard to have those curious pictures in their trembling hands and therefore hurriedly getting back on topic, the bottom line is we’re winning but there’s still a number of ways for us to go gluteus maximus over mammary gland on the home straight, and every single one of them would be of our own doing, because the penultimate enemy in this campaign is ourselves. As Lincoln remarked about General Burnside, one of the crowd of military incompetents he had to put up with before Generals Grant and Sherman came along, only he could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
In an effort to avoid those self-inflicted Burnside pitfalls, it’s again necessary to take that same sort of long hard dispassionate look that was directed at the other parties in this series, but this time at ourselves.
We must never give in to despair and think that our continuing efforts are in vain, because as we dispose of one phony threat, they appear to simply invent another one. Sometimes, there can naturally be the feeling that we’re just running around a lawn with a mallet, trying to brain an elusive mole that’s popping up all over the place. It’s a false impression because it doesn’t take into account the very real progress that has been made.
We forced them off the global warming football and into talking about climate change, and since that one hasn’t had much traction with the general public, they’re now relaunching the scare as Global Climate Disruption, so they can blame any weather event on human activity. The majority of the shrinking number of people lending any credence to each successive chimera are the true believers, who are largely irrelevant to us anyway, since their minds cannot be changed.
It’s actually to our advantage every time they make such changes of course. We need them to keep doing that, because with every new and increasingly silly scare, they spend more and more of their dwindling stock of credibility with the public. The more that people grow jaundiced with a seemingly unending stream of eco-scares and begin to shake their heads in exasperation at the alarmist’s stories, the less influential they become as a political force, so I say bring them on. The more new scares, the better.
If you’ve any doubts about how far we’ve come, simply look up on the net the sheer amount of coverage mainstream papers were giving to global warming in the months prior to the Copenhagen conference four years ago. Nowadays, except for a few climate obsessed publications, it’s hardly mentioned and the once bloated numbers of environmental journalists are being redeployed or simply paid off.
As the alarmists enter the negotiation phase in the death of their belief system, we must avoid any offers of accommodation with them. In a previous article, I referenced Niccolò Machiavelli’s advice that if you must fight a war, you must totally destroy your enemy and there must be no doubt who won it, otherwise you’re going to fight that very same war again a few years down the line. By settling for an armistice to end WWI when outright victory was plainly in sight and by doing the equivalent thing in Gulf War One, WWII and Gulf War Two had to be fought a few years later.
If they’d rolled tanks all the way into Berlin and Bagdad the first time around, a lot of lives would have been saved. Be in no doubt, if we leave open any possibility of having to fight a Climate War Two, we will end up fighting it. There can never be an equivalent of an acceptable armistice on the table, because it would just consolidate the gains they’ve made in the last decade, and at the end of the day, those are precisely the things which we need to roll back.
When we drive our tanks through the lobby of the IPCC, then it’s over.
I got into the climate wars to achieve something, not just for the sake of fighting. There is a segment of both the skeptic and alarmist communities who’ve got so used to the warfare, they enjoy it. For them, it’s become a niggling argument which by now feeds on itself, with any original cause or strategic objective long forgotten. That’s not me. Once you fall into that obsessive frame of mind, you become a liability to your own side.
When I’m sure climate alarmism is finished as a significant political force, I’ll disappear permanently from the climate wars to contribute something more constructive helping with repairing the damage. I’ll dismount and abandon the tank in the lobby for good, leaving the war lovers to argue away with each other for the next decade.
There are a number of reasons why the fortunes of war have turned in our favour, but when you step back and consider them all from a higher level of abstraction, they all come down to one simple thing. The politico-economic environment has changed in the last five years, and they simply haven’t adapted to it in any significant way. A few years back, there were still a few decent options open to them for a change of strategy, but it’s way too late for anything now. The movement has lost popular momentum and you never get that back.
There are only so many relaunches of the same tired old campaigns you can do before you end up with disasters like the recent highly-publicised and presidentially sponsored Climate Change Day of Action Rally in Washington DC, to which precisely nobody turned up. Ouch …
As it happened, the same change worked in our favour. Since they’re incapable of evolving, we’ve had nothing new from them to contend with for years. As Wellington said of Napoleon’s Grande Armée in the aftermath of Waterloo, “they came on in the same old way and we defeated them in the same old way.” So far, we haven’t needed to adapt, but those days are fast drawing to a close.
We ourselves must evolve and become less passive and more proactive, or we run the risk of making exactly the same mistake as them and that is by far our greatest danger. It’s an opportunity we have to grasp and work with, or it will begin to work against us. We have to adapt and take advantage of that change or all our efforts will have been wasted.
A power vacuum is developing and to fill it, we’ll have to find ways to broaden our appeal as part of a move into the more messy world of general public opinion. They’re in retreat, which is always the best time to counter attack and there are a number of strategies available to us, most of which are not contingent on factors outside our control, but that’s a different discussion.
There’s a few years to go yet, but the tide in the climate war has patently turned in our favour. If we avoid the pitfalls of our own making and at the same time be flexible enough to adapt and take intelligent advantage of the changed circumstances, it’s ours to win.
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