The Beast is forty-five years old and, consequently, he remembers quite clearly that point in recent history when the worldwide socialist movement imploded, taking along with it the hopes and dreams of multitudes of Euro-hippie peaceniks.
As the old adage goes; “watch what you ask for, you may get it!”. The gettee’s in 1990-92 were the Anti-War, Anti-Nuke crowd who had spent the previous thirty years flying kites for peace and stood aghast when most of the worldwide communist/socialist governments they idolized abruptly folded their Gulags and went home. Apart from the initial flush of victory at the sight of assorted German Hippies sitting astride the Berlin wall (you could tell the East Germans from the West by the fact that the westerners were wearing grungier clothing), once the festivities ended they were forced to confront the fact that without a Berlin Wall, what were lefty pop singers like
going to fly their “Neun Und Neunzig Luftbalons” over? Burger King?
One could argue that it’s difficult-bordering-on-impossible to conduct a vigorous anti-war campaign without an actual war to campaign against. The dangling damoclean sword of nuclear war, death and devastation gave Euro Lefties a reason to get out of bed in the morning – what were they going to do now, Get a job? Worse still, those whose job WAS fighting against Nuclear War saw their livelihoods threatened. In the forty years since the end of the second world war, western leftists had erected a vast economic and political edifice devoted to battling the (predominantly American) political doctrine of “Containment” of a Communist economic/political franchise that offered peace and equality with a liberal dollop of hideous repression. With this franchise defunct, where was the grant money going to come from?
Obviously the Left needed a new home.
Enter environmentalism. Once the bastard child of leftist political causes; it was one of many tools employed to club developed nations for their messy successes. With the socialists now rudderless and adrift, could enviroes provide a safe harbor while the left reorganized? Obviously, yes.
But there was a problem. The meme “we will all drown in our wastes” was simply not as sexy as “we will all perish in nuclear fire”. Of course everyone wanted clean air and water, but those could be accomplished without a massive reorganization of the world economy (re: de-privatization of industry, wealth redistribution) and the solutions were kind of wonkish and boring. Without a ghastly immediate threat there was no excuse to take drastic immediate political measures. Something was going to have to be done about that, and soon. Fortunately, the solution had been in development for several years, it was called “Global Warming”.
In 1989, British science documentarian James Burke produced a two-part special for PBS called “After The Warming”. Set in the year 2050, after global warming has messed up the planet in spectacular fashion, it pretends to look back at all the warning signs that humanity missed. The first half is a mix of science, history and speculation with the requisite desert and flood scenes. Standard fare these days, what’s more interesting is how he saves us all in the second half.
This scheme is aptly described in the following excerpt from the June, 1997 issue of The Energy Advocate’s article: James Burke’s Horror Story – (Wherein Burke Conducts a Post-Mortem on the Earth)
In his fantasy, Burke manages to survive his imagined horrors to become the narrator of his tale. It takes no less than the Planetary Management Authority (PMA) with powers that only Stalin could love. An upper limit on carbon burning is established. The US would use up its allocation before long, but may buy “carbon credits” from Chad or Angola in exchange for advanced technology that will enable third-world countries to “leapfrog past fossil fuel use” into a solar future. Of course, the advanced countries, from whence all this wisdom comes, somehow don’t use this wonderful technology to save their civilization.
UP with the PMA! Energy Taxes! Slap massive charges onto anybody driving into the city! Mandatory family planning! Use energy taxes to pay for mass (that is, bulk) transit!
“By 2002, the world had decided to go all out for renewable energy. _ The media campaign had worked.”
How BRILLIANT! Centralized control of the global economy! Massive redistribution of wealth away from the developed nations and down to the third world! Taxes galore! The establishment of a socialist worker’s paradise!
This Global Warming thing was perfect – it would fill the hole left by the loss of Nuclear War, providing a new apocalypse to justify the same old sweeping social and economic changes. We were all going to die once again, and once again socialism would save us!
Look at some of these 1989 solutions – any seem familiar in 2007? How about massive charges on “anybody driving into the city”? It’s already happened, has it not? How about Kyoto-style “carbon credits”? And how about the tradeoffs – Burke has the world switching over to clean renewable energy, but none of it turns out to be nuclear or hydro because…well, just because.
It’s important to understand this wholesale movement of “red” politics to “green” was not a conspiracy; it was more like a migration of animals away from a dry waterhole to a full one. The peace crowd no longer had the threat of nuclear war to use as leverage to argue that the Western world needed to coddle the Communist world or be blown up – the Communist world was gone.
Sometimes the most informative part of a debate is not what’s being said, but rather what’s not being said. One has to wonder why the “solutions” to Global Warming dovetail so nicely into a one hundred-plus year old worldwide socialist political agenda that was established long before carbon emissions ran amok? even assuming Global Warming is real and caused by us, is it not possible to combat the phenomenon using non-marxist policies? Why are we accepting these solutions as writ?
It is no suprise that now we are being told the debate is closed; Man-made Global Warming is a fact and if you have any questions about that you should just shut up or you’ll be in big trouble. Yet the United Nations’ latest report on global warming has backpedaled on all the major predictions it made in the past. Rising sea levels have gone from a predicted three feet in 1990 (by 2100) to a predicted high of seventeen inches. According to computer models the world was supposed to have warmed significantly in the last ten years, but according to the U.S. National Climate Data Center, the world in 2006 was only 0.03 degrees warmer than it was in 2001. That’s within the margin of error, so it’s basically nothing. The oceans have actually cooled. Also gone is the infamous “Hockey Stick” graph purporting to show level climate temperatures over the previous 900 years, followed by a sharp spike in the last 100. It left out a few details, such as The Medieval Warm period (half a millennium of temperature higher than now) and The Little Ice Age that followed after it ended. Yet there will be no debate.
While it is indisputable that global temperatures have increased somewhat in the last 100 years, the question of whether it’s our fault is not settled. So one must wonder why Global Warming advocates work so hard and so punitively to end debate? Perhaps it’s because they need it to be true so they can resurrect a socio-economic agenda that failed in the political marketplace a decade ago but which might now succeed by simply swapping the labels.