A message in two parts – part one.
At the end of every war, you will always find two types of people left who want to keep on going at it; those who’ve lost and can’t admit it to themselves, and those who’ve won but just can’t stop, because they’ve grown to love the conflict. Both roles will come to define them for the rest of their lives, and will also ultimately destroy them.
I was always too much of a realist to be the former and at heart too revolted by the necessary brutalities to be easy with the latter. Prosecuting any conflict to a successful conclusion takes a brain and a heart, and that heart once set upon a plan of action by that brain must by needs be cold and relentless in its execution. Once you give yourself up to that path, things get simpler. It’s your basic do or be done unto – there is no grey.
The war against climate alarmism is over, and we won it.
There won’t be a formal surrender, there will be no armistice or cease-fire, there will be no shell-shocked soldiers staggering out of bullet scarred bunkers with their hands raised high waving white kerchiefs and there will be no trials for crimes against humanity for the genocide committed in the developing world, but it’s over.
They’ll just continue to melt away as the murderous craze drifts further into political irrelevance and what will be looked back on as yet another moral aberration of the it’s all about my feelings generation and the politics that pandered to it.
Politically, the whole thing is dead in the water and has been for some time. Global warming is at the bottom of everyone’s list of concerns even if it makes an appearance on the list at all, and we’ve just been through a year-long presidential campaign where it was barely mentioned. Trump being elected as president will be its long overdue coup de grâce, though not in the form of a bullet through the head but rather a knife cutting through its financial umbilical cord down which flow the government grants, concessions and loan guarantees that keep it alive.
For me, being a small part in stopping the harm it was doing if only by a week or two was always the modest ambition, and any idea of punishing those responsible for inflicting needless cruelty on the most vulnerable people on the planet I always knew was never going to happen. I always hated them, always wanted to beat them but at the same time always knew they’d escape any sort of punishment, and that is the way things have worked out. My anger towards them still burns incandescent, but I will not allow it to overrule my reason.
No ending of war is ever that neat and tidy, and any notion of just deserts or some kind of balancing out of cruelties in the real world is a self-indulgence reserved only for those innocent of its callous realities. Punishment, if it ever occurs, will be in their afterlives, if perchance there should be such a thing.
I’ve done the best part of a decade in it, doing in recent years some things above the waterline like this blog and some other stuff well below it, not one of which I regret. For me, it was initially intended to be a quickie, my last war, because in one form or another, I’d seen too many of them but you do get sucked in, and once you go over a certain event horizon, you’re committed and have to see the thing through.
Like most skeptics, that event horizon was when you reached a point where you knew that by going any further off the orthodoxy reservation, you were going to lose friends and be disappointed in people you formerly respected as they hurriedly distanced themselves from you in fear. You were about to learn all about being shunned, both professionally and personally, and that when it came to a “climate criminal” like you, all the rules of civilised behaviour didn’t apply.
You’d become some sort of new age nigger of a freshly unenlightened twenty-first century, of whom anything could be said and to whom anything could be done, just short of actually lynching us though some of them would if they’d the guts to go further than anonymous verbal threats. To compound the jollies, you quickly found out you were going to be adopted as some sort of Saul on the road to Damascus convert by a variety of fringe loonies, all of whom were a bit higher up the insanity scale than a Grand Wizard of the KKK and just as unpleasant.
In the face of that amount of hate, you needed to cultivate not only some fortitude but a pretty robust sense of humour.
On the plus side, you made some new friends who were also engaged in the same push back against what was presented as a massive consensus. Though different in their own approaches to the conflict, they’d all passed over their own particular event horizon, and for the grand reward of not a penny but a lot of pretty vile abuse, soldiered on through the hard years. As Churchill said, when you’re going through hell, keep going, and they did.
It’s when you see people under that amount of stress and still doing the lonely courage thing, you’ll see the worst or the best come out of them. The abiding thing I’ll always take away from my time in the climate wars is I had the honour to serve in the company of heroes and heroines. They were and still are the right stuff.
We’re now in better years, times have changed and alarmism is in various stages of implosion around the world. In some like the USA and UK, it’s a corpse on the receiving end of copious amounts of makeup larded on with a trowel by the legacy media in an effort to kid people there’s still life in the thing, in others such as Europe and the Antipodes the alarmists are aware that though it’s not quite over, the writing is on the wall. They’re busy stuffing their pockets with as much cash as they can get their hands on before the big cleaver comes down on the easy money that used to flow from government coffers.
For some time it’s seemed plain to me that we were engaged in the endgame, they were in a self-destruct spiral downwards and it was just a matter of not interrupting its progress to a satisfactory conclusion, since the passing of time and the momentum of the forces that favoured our side have been irresistible for some years, and are by now unstoppable.
We were certainly a factor in its demise, but not as big a one as some people in the daily fray of the thing might think. After what was a hard start nearly a decade ago, it was just a matter of letting it play itself out.
The big learning to take away from the skeptic campaign was that it was waged primarily on the internet. The legacy media had not only bought into climate alarmism because it offered a non-stop stream of dramatic headlines, but the supposed cure for the non-problem was in essence a social re-engineering of western society along lines that agreed with their overwhelming liberal or outright socialist leanings.
It was information war posing as journalism and as with all infowar, any viewpoint opposing the official line had to be denied any means of expression. No platform for deniers, so we created our own ones.
The response by skeptics scattered around the world was to use the only means of communicating their message that wasn’t under the control of government or hostile media conglomerates – the internet. The elements of what was a diffuse and disconnected opposition independently came up with that way to break the information blockade that there was an alternative narrative available on the dangers or not of global warming.
An unexpected but in retrospect an obvious product of what I suppose you’d have to call the emergent behaviour of the internet, was the gradual creation of a skeptic community centered about a few blogs, their contributors, commenters and readers. A lot of mainline science and technology practitioners gravitated anonymously into that community, but you’d have to nail them to a cross before they’d ever admit it. Certainly in some quarters we were the furtive equivalent of science porn in the early years.
As it turned out, we played the infowar game a lot better than the opposition, helped in no large part in that our content had an element only rarely present in theirs – the truth, and a truth which could genuinely be argued about by the commentators under the blog piece. When you’re paid absolutely nothing for your efforts, there’s no way to exert pressure on you by the legacy media and its owners, so you can just tell it as you see it.
What’s vital though, is that without a free and unrestricted internet, our views would never have been heard.
We pioneered campaigning using primarily the internet because we had to, and Trump presented with the same problem of an overwhelmingly hostile media, did in essence the same with very little usage of a legacy media which could be guaranteed to distort his message.
We merely bypassed the legacy media, but he’s practically made it obsolete. Since people no longer trust them, they’re now the walking dead.
Because that’s been my assessment of the situation for some time, it has necessarily involved a rethink of the shape of my future involvement in it. If you’re a regular visitor here, then you’ve probably already noticed how in the last year I’ve taken my foot off the climate gas pedal and if you like moved off the mission statement in the original about me of this blog.
There really haven’t been many worthwhile targets moving about in the eco-sphere. More like headless chickens running in ever more frantic circles to a background of general hilarity at their antics.
I never planned to stick around after this point and looked forward to doing a Cheshire cat type of exit from the scene. A fade out with nothing remaining but a parting grin floating in mid-air, and the last trace of the contrivance called Pointman would disappear with an almost inaudible pop like an errant soap-bubble. I was there for a while, did what I thought I could usefully do, and then would bugger off, never to be heard of again.
To speak plainly, I’m old, tired, managing some health issues and all that comes with its own share of personal difficulties which have to be overcome on a daily basis. It’s been a mite challenging of late. When you’ve done enough years of struggling, you become tired of unremitting focus, of conflict, of never dropping your guard and always being on the look out for an opponent’s momentary lapse in concentration. A graceful exit to a less stressful world becomes a much more attractive proposition. You’re definitely ready to put your guns in the ground.
But life, as John Lennon said, is what happens to plans, and a change of plan is what I’d like to talk about in part two.
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