In the Wall Street Journal yesterday evening, Holman Jenkins notes that, as their great crusade has waxed and waned, the doyens of the Green Left have taken to picking fights with individuals:
Surely, some kind of ending is upon us. Last week climate protesters demanded the silencing of Charles Krauthammer for a Washington Post column that notices uncertainties in the global warming hypothesis. In coming weeks a libel trial gets under way brought by Penn State’s Michael Mann, author of the famed hockey stick, against National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writer Rand Simberg and roving commentator Mark Steyn for making wisecracks about his climate work. The New York Times runs a cartoon of a climate “denier” being stabbed with an icicle.
These are indications of a political movement turned to defending its self-image as its cause goes down the drain. That’s how thoroughly defunct, dead, expired is the idea that humanity might take charge of earth’s atmosphere through some supreme triumph of the global regulatory state over democracy, sovereignty, nationalism and political self-interest, the very facts of political human nature.
For better or for worse, Jenkins is correct. This isn’t an issue that greatly concerns voters and, as the obvious result of some extremely silly marketing, entreaties to “Do Something!” now sound uncomfortably like “Wolf!” So, what is left? Well, what’s left is what is left for all totalitarian movements: Punishment and excommunication; the increasingly hysterical assertion that widely questioned theories are absolute truth; and the burning of heretics and of skeptics. It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.