Andrew Bolt’s reminder of what climate dissenters face reminds me of a recent Scientific Alliance (UK) newsletter item, the entirety of which is available on their home page and worth a read, but excerpts of which include:
*Life is about priorities…*
The public is confused about climate change. Surveys generally suggest that a large proportion accept that it is a real and present danger and that humankind is largely responsible. But we are nowhere near a blanket acceptance that this is fact. More worryingly still for policymakers, the percentage of the population willing to pay more in green taxes or change their lifestyle significantly is always smaller than the number who claim to accept anthropogenic global warming as a fact.
… matching the rhetoric with policies which make life more expensive or less pleasant for the average person is a sure route to electoral disaster. Indeed, some more extreme environmentalists would argue that tackling climate change is something which cannot be handled adequately by a democracy, and that a more authoritarian form of government is needed.
But, on the assumption that there is no Bolshevik wing of the environmental movement planning to set up a dictatorship of the (eco)proletariat, governments really have little option but to talk tough and long-term while making seemingly contradictory short-term decisions. There is a slow build-up of pressure over time from the internal contradictions of this situation, but this has suddenly been greatly exacerbated by the world economic crisis. It has been a difficult enough task already to expect people to make sacrifices today for promised benefits which may not even be apparent in their own lifetimes, but when jobs, savings, house ownership and pensions are under threat in the unprecedented turmoil over the banking system, it becomes all but impossible. …
Despite the rhetoric, there is little sign that governments have the stomach to force through the sorts of changes which hit people’s pockets or lifestyles to a significant degree. To most people, energy poverty is as important an issue as raising the cost of electricity to encourage lower consumption, and no government has yet dared to try to reduce the expansion of their national airports. For the majority, the supposed long term benefits of green taxation do not justify the real financial impact on their current lives.
On top of this, we now seem to be progressing from a state of unprecedented financial turmoil to an extended global recession. More basic needs will begin to come nearer the top of the hierarchy once more. …
Reading this and the increasing volume of similar comment from that front line of environmental lunacy — the UK — I can’t help but be struck by the parallels to Spain circa 1937 — scil., the Moscow-backed “can’t have revolution until we have our government” vs. the Trotskite-POUM-anarchist “can’t have our government until we have revolution.”
The Democrats demurred in 2006 when a legislative majority finally gave them an opportunity to make policies consistent with the environmental hyperventilation they engaged in as a minority. They’ve since claimed that they’d need bigger majorities — and the White House, otherwise that meanie Bush might veto it. Some now think they might legislate. Hmm, but that still might be difficult. Now their pals mutter a little louder about how Team Warming might require a different sort of governance to make this happen.
These people are creepy. The good part is they are stuck with long-term vows and a short-term mess.