The Pollution Polka
“You had me at pollution.”
Most thinking adults of a particular age would have agreed with that statement back in the days when water quality and air pollutants were the targets of the environmental movement. We were almost all onside with the native chief tearing up over trash dumped by the highway.
But cleaning up the rivers and air wasn’t a big enough sandbox for the people British journalist James Delingpole calls Watermelons— green on the outside/ red on the inside.
You get the last guest slot on CNN’s late Sunday current-affairs show if you’re pitching algae-clogged lakes. But if you dangle the faint whiff of civilizational extinction, well… the UN hosts a global conference for you, the Sundance movie festival swoons at your computer models and Barack Obama parrots your material like it was a Key & Peele skit.
You go from platooning in left field to batting cleanup in the progressive batting order. And so computer models are ordered. Geeks in lab coats are recruited from their nerd factories. And politicians are seduced into believing that the climate hockey stick is a swell vote getter in the Starbucks demographic.
The results from this you-must-submit POV have been spectacular. Who in the original ranks of DDT fighters could have foreseen the buy-in from so many otherwise sane people? (Even the kilted heir to the British crown is a ticket buyer.) Who knew the average pol was bigger on anecdotal weather than empirical science?
So when you get David Suzuki to mix that voodoo that he does so well about glaciers and carbon-counts, most of the “enlightened people” are impressed. Call it “global warming”. Ot if that gets smoked out, use “climate change”. In case some smarty boots still has questions, then employ the old ad-hominem leg lock, calling anyone with questions a “denier”. Get it? Like the people who denied the Holocaust?
Only the Holocaust was real. Climate-change policy is speculation wrapped in innuendo hidden is a big box of hocus pocus.
The whole operation of self-appointed saviors transferring vast amounts of public wealth to carbon markets and Third World kleptocracies might have gone off without a hitch if it weren’t for a few small problems. Okay, they’re big problems, but they’re simple concepts.
Here’s a fact: almost 99.9 percent of functioning homo sapiens agree that the climate is changing for the warmer at the moment. Even a cursory glance at history shows that we don’t get as much snow and ice in many regions where they were pervasive in the 17th century. The question is, how much of the warming is anthropomorphic (man-made for you Readers Digest types)?
Ay, there’s the rub. Problem is the Super Dooper computer models that in 1990 predicted planet Earth would be burned to a crisp by 2050 seem to have sprung a leak on man’s role. Despite regular headlines about hottest summers on record and ice sheets as big as Labrador melting, the earth’s temperature hasn’t moved a jot since 1998 (whenY2K was supposed to obliterate civilization). Princess Di was still doing road trips with Dodi Fayed when the heat was last turned up.
When this glitch was eventually exposed by the heretics, the research dweebs for Watermelon U were vexed. Told that vexed doesn’t get your grant money renewed, they decided the heat was secretly hiding. In the ocean. With Jimmy Hoffa, maybe. Then we learned that someone had spilled ketchup on the original findings and— unbelievably— after a little VIM, the numbers once again show we’re on the highway to hell. As you were. Cringing, presumably.
The second stumbling block for the Watermelons is that, even if you accept all the most horrific speculations about annihilation, there’s virtually not a thing the virtuous West can do to redress the Monster Chiller Horror Theatre script. Even if western democracies shackle themselves to the most punitive economic remedies for carbon reduction, the effect on the earth will be that number that is so near zero that it’s almost zero. China and India will gladly cash our Air Miles and drive over us in a rented Hummer.
Finally, for all the bloviating from media silos, the average person rates more than a dozen issues higher than climate change in polling.
So, to summarize. Pollution didn’t get Al Gore where he wants to go fast enough. The computer models predicting how carbon emissions will turn us into Melba toast are skipping like that old Sergeant Pepper vinyl you have that you played a million times. “Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert…click… Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert… click”.
Even if the made-up stuff about temperatures spiking like Pink’s hair wasn’t made up, the antidote proposed by Dr. Feelgood Suzuki doesn’t work. And the public doesn’t share the alarm about climate change felt by their betters.
To which almost everyone running in the current Canadian federal and U.S. presidential elections says, “Sounds like a Plan. Where do I send a cheque?” How did this happen? I’ll hang up and take your answeroffline, thanks.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy #notthepublicbroadcaster