The various sub-ideologies and edicts of progressivism are often difficult to keep track of—you can’t say this, you can’t think that, this is social justice, that’s right-wing tyranny—but among them, the subtleties of global warmism are fairly easily understood: when in doubt, blame climate change.
Canadian author Naomi Klein, for instance—no friend of free markets under normal circumstances—recently penned a tome with the weighty adversarial premise: “Capitalism vs. the Climate.” According to Klein, the profits from capitalist enterprises “are not legitimate in an era of climate change.” Good to know, thanks.
While we’re on the subject of overwrought anti-capitalist rhetoric, did you catch the coverage of the “People’s Climate March” last month? It was billed as “the largest climate march in history,” which probably isn’t saying much, but assuredly Mother Earth was pleased nonetheless: “Defend Gaia,” trumpeted one protest banner, just in case we forgot who the victim is. With a pre-event guest list of upwards of 100,000 people, it was kind of a big deal: as Andrew Freedman wrote a few days before the event, the march might signify “the moment when global warming [transitioned] from being a science and policy issue into a full-fledged social movement. Perhaps it will become as large as the gay rights and civil rights movements.”
Well, maybe; who can say? And yet the crucial difference remains: the gay rights and civil rights movements began, and sustained themselves, in response to something; that is to say, there were extant circumstances affecting gays and blacks, respectively, that demanded a collaborative movement and a united effort.
In contrast, was the “People’s Climate March” united? Global warming has been paused for nearly twenty years; the very thing the “Climate March” was protesting hasn’t occurred since well before many of the Climate Marchers were born. The People’s Climate March was a response to something that is effectively not even happening: one hundred thousand people united for a non-cause, defending Gaia against the warming that doesn’t exist.
It kind of makes you wonder what the hell these people are getting at. It’s not just the puzzling pointlessness of climate alarmism: the presentation of the march itself was just baffling. The intrepid climate protesters kicked the event off with a “silent protest,” the significance of which is utterly beyond me: were the marchers suggesting that the climate is somehow silencing our voice? Is silence supposed to be a by-product of climate change, or is silence the catalyst for political action? Perhaps it was meant to symbolize the non-warming that’s occurred for almost two decades, but I kind of doubt it; whatever the purpose of the silence, we’re left without any apparent reason for it; the same could be said for the march in its entirety.
Which is a great summation of what the climate change debate has become: bombastic nonsense coupled with pointlessness.
Naomi Klein has taken it upon herself to decide what profits are “legitimate” during a vaguely-defined “era;” meanwhile, thousands of people wander silently in New York in protest of a climatic phenomenon that isn’t even taking place. A bunch of celebrities got into the act, too. “I’m here primarily for my children,” Mark Ruffalo claimed. “I want to see the leaders of the world hear the will of the people and begin to implement 100% renewable energy for 100% of the people.” If “100% renewable energy” really were “the will of the people,” you’d think the people could “implement” it their own damn selves instead of making government force them to do it. But that’s the essence of global warmism: it doesn’t have to make any sense, it just has to be lazily melodramatic.
At last count, there were fifty-two explanations for the ongoing global warming “pause,” The pause, which no climate scientist predicted and which none can explain nearly twenty years after it began; all we know is that the planet is not warming, it has not been warming for some time, and the highly-anticipated disasters of Big Climate have not come to pass.
There is still plenty to learn about our environment, and much to understand about how man affects it, but global warmism—the bizarre ideology that inspired the People’s Climate March—is dying, subsisting on nothing more than Al Gore-style alarmist politics and mid-90s nostalgia for a mildly warming planet. Climate change hysteria simply cannot stand up to serious scrutiny; the facts are not on its side. Hundreds of thousands of people may have showed up to “march” in support of “climate action,” yet sadly the event was a fundamentally empty one, devoid of much reason and predicated on an essentially false premise.
With any luck, climate change hysteria will fade quickly and quietly, taking with it these silly and nonsensical demonstrations.
Mark Ruffalo will still be perfectly capable of using “100% renewable energy,” and he’s welcome to write us a postcard by candlelight to let us know how it works out.