The New Approach: ‘Jane Goodall Greens’

by Chris Horner

Green-trade press outlet ClimateWire had a lead article this week advancing a new effort by the global-warming industry to marginalize the growing, politically dominant dissent which for years it said didn’t exist. And, if it did exist, it was only a few kooks. Denying the deniers didn’t work — there’s just too darned many of them! — so now the social scientists need to “observe” them: “These strange people. Who are they, and what makes them tick?” Ah, academia. 

So Andrew Hoffman, a University of Michigan academic, and his research assistant have moved on (for now) from comparing climate skeptics to Holocaust deniers, tobacco scientists, and anti-abolitionists — but they haven’t moved that far. After trotting out the slavery trope to wrap themselves in the warm blanket of moral superiority, they have decided to take abortion politics as their new model. (Since they’re having trouble picking an approach, may I suggest snake-oil salesmen, Mr. Ponzi, or carnies, since none of these schemes would detectably affect the climate? That’s a pretty good clue the schemes aren’t about the climate. More on that momentarily.)

They express particular concern that I said, “The environmental agenda seeks to use the state to create scarcity as a means to exert their will, and the state’s authority, over your lives,” in a talk at the Heartland Institute’s most recent international climate conference. I also said it at the Conservative Political Action Conference and say it regularly on campus.

The context for this remark is not a mystery. It constitutes a key element of the premise for my most recent book, Power Grab, in which I exhaustively detail how this is so. George Will also wrote a wonderful column last November in which he noted similar thoughts about abundant energy, which is the true bête noire of the environmentalist movement, and which “horrifies people who relish scarcity because it requires — or so they say — government to ration what is scarce and to generally boss people to mend their behavior. . . . Today, there is a name for the political doctrine that rejoices in scarcity of everything except government. The name is environmentalism.”

But the social scientists are intrigued and curious to know why I would say such a thing about the green agenda. Thank you for asking! It’s because the alarmists say the same. I simply dare you to believe them. Here is a sampler.

Longtime spokesperson for the global-warming science community (now semi-heretic) Judith Curry, head of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, in a remarkable post-ClimateGate pivot:

“No one really believes that the ‘science is settled’ or that ‘the debate is over.’”

“Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda.”

“There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.”

Huh. ClimateGate’s Phil Jones also told the BBC that anyone who says this has his own reason, and he won’t judge what his motives are.

Has anyone else volunteered insights on the agenda, someone not accusing others but expressing his own knowledge?

Spokesman for the Blue-Green Alliance David Foster says: “It is an economic-restructuring bill for the global economy. We should not pretend that it isn’t.”

Erstwhile Democratic party ‘green’ star, and Obama ‘green czar’ Van Jones, has been extremely helpful in this regard:

“The slogan of ‘green jobs’ is the banner under which all of the pro-democracy forces can gather for the next big assaults.”

“We want to move from suicidal gray capitalism . . .  So the green economy will start off as a small subset, and we’re going to push it, and push it, and push it, until it becomes the engine for transforming the whole society.”

(Ah, the ol’ ‘fundamentally transform America’ again.)

And where to begin with Tom Totalitarianism’s Cool Friedman?

Other than these facts above, there’s no reason for me to claim that the green movement is about creating energy scarcity to make government more powerful and intrusive. Oh, wait. There are many, many more reasons. Power Grab details the more recent acknowledgements, as there are years and years’ worth — and a steady stream, previously detailed in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism and Red Hot Lies.

My apparently curious statement is quoting the environmental movement’s front-men (and women), asking whether or not we should take them at their word. It seems our academic friends are either genuinely unaware of this wealth of argument, or they hope to wave it all away. If the latter, then it seems the new tactic is to get you to believe the greens have really just been lying. We’ll see how well that works.

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