It’s not been easy being green since the revelations of Climategate and mounting evidence that the science behind man’s influence on climate change is far from accurate, let alone settled. No wonder then that many greens chose to vent their frustration at skeptics and blame their ideological opponents for their troubles.
In the past decade, leaders of the global warming movement have won international fame and acclaim, including Nobel prizes and Oscars. They have been feted by celebrities and world leaders alike as a supportive press looked on and wrote glowing tomes about their wisdom and importance. Politicians and businesses were cowed into submission by the mighty green machine and eagerly adorned themselves with a green mantle to appeal to voters and consumers.
Despite this support and for no want of funding, time and again the green agenda stumbled and failed to achieve action. Despite regular and desperate cries of alarm that the conference du jour represented mankind’s ‘last hope’, nothing meaningful happens. The Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997, but few industrialized western nations have come close to meeting their emission reduction targets. Since Kyoto there have been significant failures in Bali, Copenhagen, Bonn and next up is Cancun. There is no reason to suspect that the outcome will be different there.
The green movement is a conglomerate of many disparate causes, but one thing most agree on is that skeptics are to blame for any failure. According to greens, these ‘fringe’ people who oppose the theory that man influences climate are powerful enough to stop the entire world from taking action. In fact, this is just a lazy excuse to absolve themselves of blame for their own incompetence and ineffectiveness.
In the United States, Democrats have controlled the White House and both houses of Congress since 2008 with outright majorities, yet the ‘vital’ climate bill failed to pass. Democrats blame Republicans, but had the Democrats had the courage of their political convictions they could have passed any legislation they pleased, just as they did with health care reform. The climate bill failed because Democrats needed the political cover of a bipartisan vote and when they failed to get it, they simply walked away and in the process demonstrated that alarmist talk about global doom if the bill failed was so much hot air.
Al Gore this week blogged about the Koch brothers who have funded right-leaning causes to the tune of $100 million. The inference is that the Koch’s blocked climate change legislation by funding skeptics. Yet Al Gore and his Alliance for Climate Protection have outspent the Koch’s by a factor of 3 to 1. If it was just a question of money, Gore and his followers would have won a long time ago, so why haven’t they?
In large part, Gore must blame his own conspicuous consumption. Ordinary people looked at his mansions, his boat and the globe-trotting in private planes and limos and wondered how he could be so extravagant if there truly were a ‘climate crisis.’ Greens may blame skeptics for pointing out Gore’s hypocrisy, but it was his own decision to not lead by example and leave himself open to criticism.
A common argument against skeptics is that they are ‘flat-earthers’, the people who denied the Earth was round. This is a flawed view; the fact is it is the other way around. Those who believe in mans affect on global temperatures today are the ones who would think the Earth flat, for they are the followers of the popular consensus. It was skeptics that stood against the perceived wisdom of the day to teach the world that the ground they stood on was a sphere, a reminder that skeptics are vital to progress.
The inconvenient truth is that greens have failed to convince the world that man’s activity affects climate. They have tried bullying and emotional blackmail without success. It’s easy to blame those who disagree with them, but the failure to make progress on an issue they claim vital to man’s survival is entirely theirs.
Greens outspent skeptics, they had the ear of the political class, effectively demonized and even silenced opponents and still it was not enough to convince the world that anything was wrong with the weather. It’s hard to think of any movement in history that enjoyed the funding, support and momentum that the greens once had and yet achieved so little.
Now the momentum is gone, shattered by the revelations that climate science is little more than guesswork and bad statistical analysis. Celebrities are moving on to other, more fashionable causes and soon the only people left to rail against skeptics will be the ones with reputations or fortunes so heavily vested in their global warming theory that they can never retreat.
It’s not much of an end for ‘the greatest scam in history‘, but it is the end.