Friday, March 23, 2007

The religion of environmentalism

Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a fraud. It also is the pre-dominant meta-narrative for today's ecomyths. AGW is a fraud because:
  • There is no clear science that shows global temperatures to have increased to unprecedented levels.
  • There is no causal link for human activity being a trigger in observed temperature changes.
  • Any benefits of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are being ignored in the hysteria surrounding possible costs/impacts that increased levels may incur, and;
  • It is unclear if present levels of carbon dioxide are unprecedented or even harmful.
So why is AGW being so heavily hyped? Mostly because environmentalism exists today almost exclusively as an opposing ideology to free-market capitalism. As Czech President Vaclav Klaus puts it, "communism has been replaced by the threat of ambitious environmentalism".

How did saving the environment become such a pernicious, political movement?

happened in large part because today's generation has only known environmental responsibility. Students today have never not known sustainability as a guiding mantra: they get it, they are aware and mostly quite environmental conscious. All the environmental protests and awareness raising issues of the Woodstock generation have now been addressed, largely rectified and are part of the very political mainstream old school environmentalists wanted to fight. Old school environmentalism is now centralist public policy, embraced by all political parties and the electorate.

So really today, there is no more need for increasing awareness: no need for full-time advocacy, protests nor media stunts. The entire repertoire of environmentalism is passé. We get it. Environmental groups can disband and their members go home.

So, what is needed? Because problems still exist don't they? Certainly they do, but they are none of them problems that can not be fixed by the correct application of existing technology and political will. The answers are so obvious they could be incorporated as a version of the TV show Jeopardy:
  • So indoor air pollution in Africa: clean cooking fuels and light -- uh, let me see, "what is electricity Alex!"
  • Dysentery: "that would be plumbing for $400, Alex".
  • Systemic poverty: that would be free market capitalism, democracy, land reform, micro-loans and social justice.
Ah, but you say, these aren't easy to institute. Correct. Implementation of sustainability is where the rubber meets the road. It is hard, context specific and requires commitment and hard-work. And getting one's hands dirty.

Eeww! Can't I make posters, march, and protest and blame some big corporation instead? Can't I stay a long, long time at university and complain in a sophisticated post-modernists frame about over-consumption, globalization, corporatism, capitalism and Americanism?

Well you could, but you'd need a really good issue. One with no hope of any answer, no practical political solutions, no policies that any rational government would actually impose on its economy -- you know an issue where you could invoke the full precautionary principle, one with obscure, nascent science -- irrefutable really -- one where you could whip up a religious fervour with dogmatism, alarmism, beliefs and a really good media program. Be good if you could seduce an obscure group of scientists, elevate them into their 15 minutes of fame, bribe them with research funds -- be good for them, keep our organizations going and we could wrap the whole thing into a holistic global governance kind of thing using the UN -- those cats love a good scam, years of conferences and boy, those guys really know how to avoid any meaningful implementation of anything!

Yep, all in all, this whole AGW thing is perfect: no chance of ever fixing it. Any alternatives are voided by incessant repetition of the basic mantra -- and look, while everyone knows things are so much better, guilt is such an easy emotion to dump on the collective. And, get this, anyone who calls us on it we can just marginalise, vilify and call "denier" -- yes, really evoke some emotional rhetoric for this baby. Meanwhile, we won't ever actually have to do anything! Perfect. Now all we need is some ex-political hacks desperate for an issue to get them back into the spotlight....