Bill McGibben, the leftie environmentalist, has had it with compromising on the issue of global warming. Since no American bill has been signed, it’s time to take off the gloves. From his opinion piece in the ever accommodating LA Times:
So now we know what we didn’t before: Making nice doesn’t work. It was worth a try, but it didn’t work. So we’d better try something else. Step 1 involves actually talking about global warming. For years now, the accepted wisdom was: talk about anything else — energy independence, oil security, beating the Chinese to renewable technology.
Is McGibben kidding? Consider: Al Gore’s propagandistic movie wins an Oscar and garners a Nobel Peace Prize. The media have pounded the drum unceasingly. The advocacy is found at bus stops, in TV commercials, movies, sit coms, books. The UN used its megaphone to shriek that we are all going to die. The fact that people don’t want to dismantle their economies and redistribute their wealth to pay destitute countries to remain in destitution over global warming, doesn’t mean they haven’t heard the message. Back to McGibben:
Step 2, we have to ask for what we actually need, not what we calculate we might be able to get. If we’re going to slow global warming in the very short time available to us, we don’t actually need an incredibly complicated legislative scheme that gives door prizes to every interested industry. We need a stiff price on carbon, set by the scientific understanding that we can’t still be burning black rocks a couple of decades hence.
Ask all you want. The answer is no. People don’t want a recession to turn even worse from higher energy prices, higher food prices, and greater costs for everything that has to be shipped. And that is going to make the third proposal very hard to effectuate:
Which leads to the third step in this process. If we’re going to get any of this done, we’re going to need a movement. For 20 years, environmentalists have operated on the notion that we’d get action if we simply had scientists explain to politicians and chief executives that our current ways are unsustainable. That turns out, quite conclusively, not to work. We need to be able to explain to them that continuing in their current ways will end something they actually care about: their careers. And because we’ll never have the cash to compete with Exxon, we better work in the currencies we can muster: bodies, spirit, passion.
People support transitioning to a greener way of being. I know I do and support things like tax incentives to move in that direction. But you are not going to have millions marching in the streets demanding to be made poorer and less free. They are not going to demand that national sovereignty be abdicated in order that we be governed by an elite, unelected UN technocracy.
Exxon’s money isn’t what has stopped the global warming hysterics from having their way. Indeed, the warming believers continue to dominate the public discourse. But people are hysteria exhausted. They don’t think that destroying our economies now–in the possibly vain and entirely theoretical hope that thirty years from now it may reduce warming–makes much sense.