I’m not the most observant person in the world. It was probably in around 1976 when I suddenly realized that the CBS nightly news, which my parents watched religiously, was no longer giving daily updates about the number of dead and wounded in Vietnam. That information had provided a backdrop to my childhood dinners, so much so that I completely tuned it out. When the numbers vanished, I was still tuned out.
Thinking about it, I also missed the transition from Global Freezing, which was the nightmare scenario of my 1970s youth (along with nuclear Holocaust, of course), to Global Warming, which is the nightmare scenario of my own children’s youth. Perhaps, though, it wasn’t that I was so absent minded, it was also that the message with both calamitous scenarios has been precisely the same. Zombie has written a very detailed post (not to worry, though, ’cause it’s also fascinating) comparing the two climate movements. I don’t think I’m giving anything away when I saw that Zombie’s thesis is as follows:
In both cases, proponents of the theory-du-jour say that in order to stave off disaster, we must reverse the march of civilization, stop our profligate use of carbon-based fuels, cede power and money from the First World to the Third World, and wherever possible revert to a Luddite pre-industrial lifestyle.
I realized: The solution (commit civilizational suicide) always remains the same; all that differs are the wildly divergent purported “crises” proffered up to justify the imposition of the solution.
Seen from this angle, the entire Climate Change field should be more properly reframed thus:
In order to weaken and eventually destroy the existing industrialized nations, we must devise an ecological “crisis” so severe that only voluntary economic suicide can solve it; and if this first crisis doesn’t materialize as planned, then devise another, and another, even if they flatly contradict our previous claims.