Nowadays human imagination is serving slavery and division, rather than the freedom and peace John Lennon envisioned. At the very moment when we should be celebrating so much progress over human suffering, instead elites and celebrities are mobilizing to destroy individual rights and freedoms. Michael Hart in his book preface describes the flight of imagination bringing the world to this moment of climate fear and division. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.
Imagine a movement so bent on achieving its political objectives that it is willing to corrupt science to meet them. Imagine governments around the globe, first adopting and then promoting this official science for more than two generations. Imagine that they are willing to use their regulatory power to implement a massive program of social engineering in order to “save” the planet. Imagine the United Nations leading this movement and insisting that a global effort is required.
Imagine the movement’s leaders believing that people around the globe must change their eating, heating, cooling, lighting, toilet, transportation, manufacturing, entertainment, even housing habits and reject values that are critical to their prosperity, happiness, and welfare, confident that humans can adapt and revert to simpler, more primitive, more local life-styles, have fewer children, and embrace lives presumed to be more in harmony with nature.
Imagine thousands of scientists engaged at public expense in developing a convincing rationale for this unprecedented project. Imagine that these scientists are willing to compromise their integrity in pursuit of the role of a single factor that they insist controls the most complex and chaotic earth system, a molecule–carbon dioxide–that is literally the building block of all of life. Imagine that they believe that by reducing its miniscule–.04 percent–presence in the atmosphere, the planet will cool and climate will stabilize at an optimum level, a level seen only in microseconds of geological time.
Imagine scientists who dismiss the work of hundreds of their colleagues and believe that their work must be suppressed. Imagine a scientific movement dominated by greedy grant farmers and cheered on by the media, insisting that there is no further need to study the science and that governments need to start implementing its preferred policy of worldwide social engineering.
Imagine that many leaders of this movement believe that the world’s population needs to be thinned down to a billion people within a generation or two. Imagine that some of the movement’s most revered leaders, even as they advocate that ordinary people must curb their consumption and live simpler lives, pursue lifestyles that consume more energy and other commodities in a year than an ordinary family of four would need over its lifetime.
Imagine a movement whose leaders habitually dissemble and mislead and justify this on the claimed greater good they are pursuing. Imagine politicians, civil servants, scientists,activists, and the media flying from one exotic location to another as they plan what must be done to coerce changes in our lifestyles, even to the point of sacrificing human freedom and democracy.
Most thoughtful people would conclude that only Hollywood could come up with such a bizarre plot. A little more thinking, however, and they might connect the dots. There is such a movement, and it has demanded our attention for more than thirty years. It has devoured hundreds of billions of dollars in public money and has inserted its menacing tentacles into every aspect of modern life. The UN and all its organs are the leading force behind it, but most governments of the world support it in one way or another. Elites, the media, and even religious leaders, have embraced it, even though they seem poorly informed and ignore its demands while urging others to adopt sharply reduced lifestyles.
The public face of this science, climate science, is part of a worrying new trend: the emergence of “official” or consensus science. In this perversion of real science, policy becomes the goal of scientific enquiry rather than its result. Over the last thirty years and more, public policy has focused increasingly on dealing with risks to health, safety, and the environment. Much of that policy ostensibly relies on scientific findings. In their decision making, governments increasingly look to scientists and have resorted to funding science that meets their political need for certainty.
Consensus on controversial issues is critical to governments. Ever since Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1962, activists have stood ready to convince governments of all manner of risks to humanity and nature, and scientists have obliged by reporting findings that satisfy activist political needs. Once governments acquiesce, it is critical that scientists not undermine their decisions with awkward new findings. Public policy is not easily reversed. The result is a potential monster spewing out more and more regulations, presumably making us safer and healthier and safeguarding the environment, but also substituting social for personal responsibility, reducing freedom and choice, and creating an ever larger, more costly, and intrusive public footprint.
For many years it seemed that the public agreed that there was a need to take action to control the globe’s climate, but that support has steadily eroded as people have begun to realize the enormity of what is being demanded, the flimsy ground on which this demand is based, and the impact of what would need to be imposed. Public support has declined further as sceptical scientists have pointed out more and more problems with the underlying scientific hypothesis, as engineers have indicated the extent to which purported energy substitutes are not up to the job, and as economists have calculated the enormous costs and minimal benefits. Only general scientific illiteracy has kept the project afloat.
While the primary movement is withering on the vine, its effects linger for generations. Governments may never meet the primary objectives of the global warming movement, but they have succeeded in embedding many of its tentacles into public regulatory policies and programs. Multiple interests have become dependent on these policies and will fight to maintain them, including thousands of officials whose careers are wedded to them. As so often happens in public policy, the unintended and harmful consequences become accepted practice, despite their costs and annoyance.
The world will be a better place:
♦ when governments agree to tame this monster and refocus their energies on issues within their competence;
♦ when religious leaders and other elites accept that they have fallen prey to a movement whose motives are much darker and more damaging than they realize;
♦ and when the media adopt a more balanced approach and provide the public with the critical assessment that is often missing from their reporting.
It is time for all three to accept that the UN is pursuing a path that can only result in a less prosperous and more divided world.
Background from previous post: On the Hubris of Climatism
Canadian Michael Hart speaks out on climatism in his new book, Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change (link to interview with Hart at Tallbloke’s Talkshop)
The wide-ranging interview contains many insights, including this one that IMO gets at a deep, underlying motive:
Alarm over a changing climate leading to malign results is in many ways the product of the hunger for stability and direction in a post-Christian world. Humans have a deep, innate need for a transcendent authority. Having rejected the precepts of Christianity, people in the advanced economies of the West are turning to other forms of authority. Putting aside those who cynically exploit the issue for their own gain – from scientists and politicians to UN leaders and green businesses – most activists are deeply committed to a secular, statist, anti-human, earth-centric set of beliefs which drives their claims of a planet in imminent danger from human activity.
To them, a planet with fewer people is the ultimate goal, achievable only through centralized direction and control. As philosopher of science Jeffrey Foss points out, “Environmental science conceives and expresses humankind’s relationship to nature in a manner that is – as a matter of observable fact – religious.” It “prophesies an environmental apocalypse. It tells us that the reason we confront apocalypse is our own environmental sinfulness. Our sin is one of impurity. We have fouled a pure, ‘pristine’ nature with our dirty household and industrial wastes. The apocalypse will take the form of an environmental backlash, a payback for our sins. … environmental scientists tell people what they must do to be blameless before nature.”
Hart says that unfortunately society has gone a long way down the wrong road, but the outcome can be changed.
I remain cautiously optimistic. Popular support for climate change action peaked a few years ago. In Europe, which has gone furthest in implementing climate change policies, politicians are beginning to look for ways to moderate earlier initiatives. In North America, rhetoric has far outstripped actions while the Obama administration has relied on stealth to implement its climate change agenda. At the same time, climate change has added to the momentum of the broader secularization of society and the pursuit of anti-human policies and programs. We are, sadly, farther down that road than we have ever been before.
Again, it will take a determined effort by people of faith and conscience to convince our political leaders that they have been gulled by a political movement exploiting fear of climate change to push a utopian, humanist agenda that most people would find abhorrent. As it now stands, politicians are throwing money that they do not have at a problem that does not exist in order to finance solutions that make no difference. The time has come to call a halt to this nonsense and focus on real issues that pose real dangers. In a world beset by war, terrorism, and continuing third-world poverty, there are far more important things on which political leaders need to focus.
Read the first chapter here: