The coming shape of 2014.
About three years ago, I compared the ongoing plunge in any belief in global warming as being akin to the death of a belief system. In essence, it is a five stage process of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. It covered what can only be termed the true believers, not the politicians, or the crooks simply riding the gravy train nor establishment climate science, which is just hanging on in there to protect its research funding.
While different people go through the main sequence at their own rates, I think it’s a fair assessment that the majority of true believers are well through the denial stage. The successive disasters of last year such as the utter failure of COP19, the chopping back of subsidies, the culling of environmental journalists, the Australian electoral rout and the debacle of AR5, can have left no doubt in even the most ardent believer that the cause had lost both popular and political traction.
By the start of last year they’d mostly transitioned deep into the anger phase and that was the explanation for most of their blunders and bizarre outbursts. You can expect to see a lot more of the same this year as well as a jacking up of the alarmist propaganda to unheard of levels. Like an attention-seeking child that people have begun to ignore, they’ll ramp up the message to frankly ridiculous levels, giving the skeptic blogs many opportunities to deploy the humour weapon. They will eventually realise that strategy is actually doing more harm than good to their credibility and begin the transition into the bargaining phase.
That transition will be further hurried along by an emergent pattern of last year. The skeptic viewpoint started to be aired in the mainstream media, with several articles in leading mass circulation publications in America, Europe and Australia. Given the excesses of the movement which was above criticism in its glory days, there’s a lot of easy and juicy scoops to be unearthed by any enterprising journalist.
As more skeptic articles get published, it’ll become necessary for the alarmists to publish rebuttal pieces, which I suppose is the start of some dialogue. Essentially, that’ll be the indirect beginning of the bargaining phase but it will be extremely unlikely to succeed for a variety of reasons. A minor one is that climate science has patently let them down in terms of living up to its predictions so they’ve got nothing to bargain with, but the major reason is the intractable nature of all fanatics. Since they are incapable of compromise and the realists, by now having the initiative, have no need to strike bargains with an opposition which is in full retreat anyway.
There’s a saying; the only thing worse than selling out is wanting to and finding that nobody is interested in buying. At that point, the fanatics of the global warming cult can then be expected to enter the depression and acceptance stages. Apart from providing some basis for opportunist propaganda on our part, they’re already pretty much irrelevant.
Is that the end of the climate wars then?
No, I’m afraid not because the single remaining demographic we’ve got left to beat is going to be the most intractable. The fanatics finished themselves off, the skeptic blogosphere did for the credibility of climate science and the politicians know that green policies are now toxic with the electorate. The last opposition is the people and institutions who truly believe in one single thing – making lots of money from green policies. They’re clamped hard onto that sweet money teat and will take some prising off it.
That demographic breaks down into three groupings. The first is climate research, which without the lavish funding, is looking at what geologists call an extinction level event, but as their money flows from governments which are increasingly distancing themselves from what is not only a financial money pit but deeply out of favour with the voter, that situation is already taken care of. Think about it, how many voters would actually give a rat’s ass about cuts in climate research funding?
The second grouping is that plethora of so-called environmental organisations such as WWF and Greenpeace whose financial existence depends to a large extent on generous handouts from governments and bodies like the EU.
The final grouping is all those individuals and companies making money hand over fist via massively generous subsidies, tax breaks and seed capital. Again, the source of the funds is overwhelmingly government. What governments are finding out is that it’s simply no longer affordable to subsidise things like renewables, especially when the resultant escalation in energy prices is forcing industry to relocate to more business friendly countries.
The common factor they all share is a dependence on government largesse, and since that’s totally reliant on the support of elected politicians, that’s the axis of attack we have to use. There’s no utility in engaging in any significant way with those groups because trying to persuade anyone out of their source of income is obviously doomed to be a waste of effort.
The pressure has to be exerted on the politicians because they’re the only ones who can turn off the money tap to all three groups. How that’s to be done is to seek to encourage the popular perception that environmental policies are actually bad things. The particular way that’s to be accomplished comes down to where you or your organisation fit into the skeptic landscape. I’m a skeptic blogger so my blogging efforts this year will be focused on that strategic objective.
There are a lot of real issues the ordinary person can easily relate to without knowing any science, climate or otherwise. Some obvious areas are sky-rocketing utility bills, fuel poverty, bird chopping windmills, solar panels that just don’t work, rich fat cats gorging out on subsidies, multi-million dollar failures like Solyndra, EPA fraud running into the millions and there are lots more viable targets.
Repeatedly beating the hell out of opponents who are already bested is a waste of your energy. It’s the ones still standing you have to go after.
We’ve still got a war to finish.
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