Twilight of the Greens

When compiling your list of 2014 Election Losers, don’t forget to include Democrat environmentalist sugar daddy Tom Steyer, who shoveled out a ton of cash – he bought the Democrat Party retail, and they were so dazzled by his money that they didn’t bother to hide the fact that his purchase was exactly what Democrats spend a great deal of time falsely accusing the Koch Brothers of doing.  Special interests and billionaires who buy elections are super awesome when Democrats get to cash the checks.

Steyer has very little to show for his vast expenditures.  The Wall Street Journal celebrated his defeat with one of the more acerbic editorials they’ve published recently:

If you want proof that money doesn???t buy elections, Mr. Steyer and his fellow green comrades are it. The San Francisco investor gave most of his money to his NextGen Climate Action Super Pac, which spent almost exclusively for Democrats. Environmental groups including NextGen spent $85 million to support President Obama ???s green agenda, especially his regulations targeting coal for extinction.

They didn???t even get a lousy T-shirt, and they aren???t taking it well. ???Despite the climate movement???s significant investments and an unprecedented get out the vote program, strong voices for climate action were defeated and candidates paid for by corporate interests and bolstered by sinister voter suppression tactics won the day,??? declared Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune.

Venting can be healthy, but self-deception isn???t. Mr. Brune should really blame the economic reality that the U.S. boom in fossil-fuel production is creating high-paying jobs and reducing energy costs across the economy. By contrast, Mr. Obama???s green agenda has created few jobs and raised costs for millions of Americans.

Voters in Pacific Heights or Manhattan may not mind paying more for their self-styled political virtue, but the average Debbie in Dubuque would rather not. The mistake too many Democrats made was listening to Mr. Steyer instead of Debbie.

[…] Nearly every one of Mr. Steyer???s favored candidates???in Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Wisconsin and Maine???lost. New Hampshire???s Jeanne Shaheen won, but Scott Brown had her playing defense for supporting a cap-and-trade carbon tax. A recent Gallup poll found that climate change ranked last among 16 issues that voters cared about in the midterms.

It???s even possible that Mr. Steyer???s money helped Republicans. He and the greens have made opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline a litmus test of their support for Democrats. Mr. Obama has in turn dutifully delayed approving the pipeline, despite multiple government reports showing no net effect on the climate. But the delay has raised Keystone???s national profile and made it a wedge issue in Senate campaigns.

Republicans campaigned for the project that polls show has 70% approval, using Keystone to appeal to union workers and voters without college degrees. Colorado???s Cory Gardner hammered Democratic Sen. Mark Udall on his refusal to support Keystone. He???s now Senator-elect Gardner.

This raises an important point about boutique environmental extremism: it’s a luxury that hard-pressed middle-class Americans cannot afford.  Actually, to broaden that point, sensible environmentalism is a luxury only prosperous nations can afford.  People seeking to escape from desperate poverty will do whatever it takes to feed themselves and sustain what commerce they can manage.  Moribund socialist governments will fill the sky with smog in order to keep their production levels up.  And when it comes to deranged obsessions like Steyer’s crusade against the Keystone XL oil pipeline (actually a power play to protect his financial interests, wrapped in eco-rhetoric to flatter preening Democrat politicians and gullible Greens), an electorate hungry for energy looks at all those reports showing Keystone is safe, scratches their heads, and wondering why some loony billionaire gets to pay Democrat henchmen to stymie the project.

As with many other extremist obsessions, radical environmentalism seeks to create an irrational continuum between reasonable goals nearly everyone supports, and highly dubious assertions that impose titanic costs for little or no gain.  Cost-benefit analysis goes right out the window for fanatics, especially when they can make other people pay the costs, but ordinary people think the price tag is important for anything short of avoiding total annihilation.

Of course, total annihilation is exactly what the environmental radicals are selling, through their rich and politically powerful Church of Global Warming,  The catechism of this peculiar religion was delivered perfectly by Secretary of State John Kerry last month.  “What happens if they’re wrong?” Kerry said of those who challenge Church dogma on climate change.  “If they’re wrong, catastrophe.  Life as you know it on earth ends.”

This is idiocy, sure, but more importantly, it is a nearly perfect antithesis to science, coming from one of the many parasitic political hacks who invoke the authority of Science to justify their lust for money and power.  “Accept this hypothesis no matter what the actual data says, because if you don’t and you’re wrong, it’s the Apocalypse” is the language of a primitive tribal shaman, not a scientist.

Scaremongering is all the Greens have left, and it doesn’t work terribly well when the public is (a) informed enough to know their past warnings of doom didn’t pan out, and (b) tired of being fleeced.  One of the problems facing the Church of Global Warming is that the impressionable young people they preyed on in the Eighties have grown up… and noticed that the doomsday dates for many of those apocalyptic forecasts from the Captain Planet era have come and gone.  The doomsayers shriek that things are worse than ever, but that’s obviously not true.  If the accurate measurements from 2014 had been available to the public in 1980, there never would have been a “global warming movement” at all.

The United Nations, which depends very heavily on “climate change” as the perfect political vehicle for trans-national authority and global money siphoning, keeps flogging its last climate report, which had to grudgingly admit that no actual climate change was happening, but that revelation was buried under shrill apocalyptic rhetoric that horrible things might happen any day now, according to new computer models.  The U.N. keeps issuing new “reports” that repackage the data from the increasingly obsolete climate assessment, with a fresh coat of politics layered on top to make each release seem like a major event.

Secretary General Ban ki-Moon straight-up lied to reporters at such an event last week, claiming that the report showed “human influence on the climate system is clear, and clearly growing” and “the atmosphere and oceans have warmed,” when the opposite is true – the atmosphere hasn’t warmed in almost 20 years, the oceans haven’t warmed in over a decade, and the great controversy roiling climate science at the moment is that the old assumptions about human activity and “greenhouse gas emissions” have been invalidated.  Carbon emission increases were accompanied by none of the consequences predicted so confidently by the “settled science” crowd, and while their political operatives are still putting on a brave front and muttering that “deniers” should be fined or jailed for daring to question them, the actual scientists who study these matters are saying more study is needed, while hypotheses must be adjusted, and maybe it’s time to admit that Nature influences the global climate far more than Man does.

The merry band of “deniers” over at the Heartland Institute had quite a bit of fun with the U.N.’s latest scare tactics.  “Fewer severe storms, an 18 -year stall in temperature rise, more polar bears, more Antarctic ice ??? all the facts are aligning against long-time promoters of the theory of human-caused warming,” said research fellow H. Sterling Burnett.  “Millions of dollars have been spent and their reputations are on the line, thus the IPCC fights a rear-guard action.”

“In reality, human influence on global climate is not even detectable,” noted International Climate Science Coalition Executive Director Tom Harris.  “It is lost in the noise of natural variability. Neither the oceans nor the atmosphere have warmed of late (the atmosphere since 1998, the oceans since 2003). There is massive ambiguity in the science. Only in the speculative climate models and the minds of UN bureaucrats is dangerous human-caused climate change ???unequivocal.???”

It seems to me that climate scientists, the media, environmentalists, bureaucrats, and politicians have all been thinking about climate in a wrong way for a couple of decades now,” said meteorologist John Coleman.  “They seem to have been thinking that there is a normal climate and it is what the climate was when mankind began to use fossil fuels. They have been positioning the climate debate to tell us that it is our responsibility to maintain the climate exactly as it was then. But natural changes in the climate have been continuing since that time.  There is no reasonable way to conclude that, at this time, important, meaningful, or significant ???climate change is happening.??? Yes, we are altering the climate at spots and in minor ways through our activities, but the bottom line is that it is not changing very much and no significant climate change is occurring or likely in the future. There is no climate crisis.”

Unfortunately, there is still a political crisis, because climate-change theology is just too damn useful to politicians from the U.N., to the E.U., to the U.S.  It’s a perpetual-motion machine for expanding political control over the economy.  Its ever-changing predictions resist falsification; if the atmosphere and oceans go another ten years without warming significantly, Church elders and their eager political acolytes will release a splashy new report declaring that the climate not changing for so long is a massive crisis that proves capitalism is suicide, and the hammer coming down any day now will exterminate humanity, unless a new army of regulators is deployed to protect us.  Every ambitious politician on Earth, very much including the American variety, is romantically in love with the idea of a political crusade so righteous that dissent should be outlawed.

No matter how much the Ruling Class loves this game, it’s almost over.  Steyer’s flameout in the midterm elections will have consequences; now that a fool and his money have been parted, nervous Democrats looking at those poll numbers on Keystone’s popularity are going to start thinking that continued resistance is untenable, no matter how heartbroken the Greens will be at their symbolic defeat.  Phrases like “global warming” and “climate change” are met with snickers in the popular culture now, rather than hallelujah choruses.  Even Hollywood notices the way people are rolling their eyes at the hoary old melting-ice-caps variety of fictional eco-apocalypse.

There certainly is both a rational need and public appetite for rational environmental stewardship.  People like it when they see it – notice how enthusiastically corporations advertise their eco-friendly voluntary policies.  The Greens love to portray those claims as deceptive, but in truth, the energy industry is justifiably proud of its accomplishments.  The days of phony “documentaries” with staged footage of fiery fracking water are over.  It’s long past time to separate rational environmental science from political hucksterism and quasi-religious lunacy.  It has been noted that global-warming mythology has all the features of a classical religious tradition: an Edenic past, the fall from grace, redemption through faith, damnation for unbelievers on Judgment Day.  The difference is that all of the other religions in America have to ask for donations,