On ‘ClimateGate’ anniversary, greens try new ‘science’ tack

Christopher Horner Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute
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This week marks the one-year anniversary of ‘ClimateGate,’ the release of thousands of damning emails between the most prominent alarmist ‘climate’ scientists, as well as computer code and annotations affirming that the books were being cooked. ClimateGate spelled the end for the global warming agenda in the U.S., at least through the front door of the cap-and-trade energy tax.

Now, as the greens fiddle with the back door — national windmill mandates (also an energy tax) and the like — their enablers in the academic-science complex are trotting out a new ‘science’: the social sciences. It seems they need to “observe” the ‘deniers’ whom for years the greens dined out on saying they didn’t exist and, if they did, well they were just a very few kooks. Denying the deniers didn’t work — there’s just too darned many of them! — so now the social scientists need to play Jane Goodall. These strange people, who are they, and what makes them tick? Ah, academia. We’d have to invent you if you weren’t there for us.

The New York Times ran a piece on Monday advancing this somehow newsworthy effort by the global warming industry to differently marginalize growing, politically dominant dissent.

It describes the work of two University of Michigan academics who have moved on for now from analogizing climate skeptics to Holocaust deniers, and then tobacco scientists and anti-abolitionists. But not very far. After recently trotting out the slavery trope to wrap themselves and their failed campaign in the warm blanket of moral superiority, abortion politics is their new model. Since they’re having trouble arriving on an approach, may I suggest snake oil salesmen, Mr. Ponzi or carnies, since none of these schemes the carnie barkers are pushing in the name of climate salvations would detectably impact the climate? That’s a pretty good clue the schemes aren’t about the climate.

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 Climate Conference. Which I also said at CPAC. And 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 focus 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 by the curiosity of my saying such a thing. Thank you for asking! It’s because the alarmists do. I simply dare you to believe them. Here is a sampler.

John Kerry of his cap-and-trade global warming bill? “This is not an environment bill.” Uh, ok. Is it about anything and, if so, what? No, no, don’t say it’s about an agenda!

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

“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 their own reason, and he won’t judge what their 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.”

OK. Let’s top playing make-believe. I agree.

Erstwhile Democrat 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. 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.)

Ah, and where to begin with Tom “Totalitarianism is Cool” Friedman? And so on and so forth. Power Grab details the more recent acknowledgements, as there are years’ worth and a steady stream, also captured in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism and Red Hot Lies.

My apparently curious quote derives from quoting the environmental movement’s front-men (and women), asking whether or not we should take them at their words. It seems our academic friends are either genuinely unaware of this wealth of argument, or 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.

Christopher C. Horner Senior Fellow Copetitive Enterprise Institute.