Activists have predicted environmental catastrophe for decades. In addition to a poor track record, they share similar arguments, language, and metaphors.
For 15 years, we’ve been scolded and cajoled. As the December climate summit approaches, global warming rhetoric has grown seriously threadbare.
It is not the business of today’s politicians to decide which energy sources will be used 85 years from now.
Ordinary citizens have been force-fed a diet of dubious climate claims. Is it a surprise that some people now equate climate skepticism with murder?
A Greenpeace activist thinks ‘the world would be a better place’ without a journalist who questions climate orthodoxy. Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz, he says we’d ‘solve a great deal of the world’s problems by chopping off everyone’s heads.’
Celebrities are making public pronouncements about the upcoming climate summit in Paris. Just as they did about the Copenhagen summit six years ago.
The climate crisis is the latest in a long line of predictions about how bad things are going to be in the future. Let’s remember that while scary headlines sell newspapers, journalists have a terrible track record.
The dirty little secret behind every pie-in-the-sky climate measure is that when emissions disappear, so do jobs, economic opportunities, and human well-being.
Five years ago, we were told that the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit was the last chance to save civilization. As the 2015 Paris summit approaches, the same sort of fear mongering is ramping up. Part 3 of 4
Rather than persuading us with reason and logic, the World Meteorological Organization has recruited TV weather presenters to deliver pretend weather reports from the year 2050.
20 years ago, scientific superstar Carl Sagan urged us to use our brains – to be actively skeptical.
Environmental activists have been declaring that the sky is falling since at least 1948. We aren’t the first generation to care – or to be raised on eco scare stories.
Rather than bringing pine logs to the poor, 21st-century energy policies do the exact opposite. More children now shiver in the cold.
When did “Question Authority” stop being applicable?
Back in 1990, the head of the UN said our planet was ailing. Fast forward a quarter of a century, and a Worldwatch Institute press release issued today continues the ‘planet in distress’ meme.
Once again, people described as “leading scientists” turn out to be economists, UN officials, and those with links to activist organizations.
A new book appears to be a rehash of 40-year-old environmental scaremongering endorsed by that era’s men of science.
Emergency! Catastrophe! Earth is turning into an unprecedented hellhole – according to an Oxford professor and Microsoft official.
Supplying electricity to a typical family for 12 hours requires the pedal power of 80 elite cyclists. The same amount of electricity can be purchased from the grid for under $5.
It isn’t your imagination. You’ve been hearing that the world is “running out of time” for years.
Eminent individuals are urging US educators to encourage a genuine campus debate about fossil fuels.
A free, shortish book defends – and celebrates – oil and coal.
The WWF thinks we should all “live in harmony with nature.” Sounds great – except for the flies, wasps, venomous snakes, storms, and floods.
Back in the 19th century, newspapers declared that something had “gone wrong” with the climate. The public was told that the telegraph system might cause the destruction of the human race.
Why are female leaders rarer than rubies in green organizations?
According to 1960s radicals, the environmental movement has been funded and orchestrated by fossil fuel interests.
The language being used in 1970, the year Earth Day was born, hasn’t changed much: Crisis. Catastrophe. Endangered. Extinction.
Half of children perish in pre-industrial societies. Take your pick: a bucolic, green fantasy world – or one that’s safe for kids.
Drama queen scientists have been around for at least 89 years.
Far fewer human beings perish before their fifth birthday than ever before. More of us live longer. This is worth celebrating.
Before there was Al Gore, there was George Mitchell. Politicians have been casting themselves as environmental crusaders, saving the planet, for two decades.
A new report argues that alternative perspectives are vital to the scientific process. Expecting dispassion from individual researchers is probably a lost cause.
Affordable, reliable energy – a big reason most children now make it to adulthood.
According to the head of the United Nations, only one vision of the future is acceptable.
A splendid and disturbing investigative feature in Der Spiegel explains why the WWF doesn’t deserve your charitable donations.
Since the 1970s UN officials have tried to frighten us. Repeatedly, their predictions have failed. Repeatedly, their time frames have been preposterously inaccurate.
How are green groups different from yesterday’s colonial powers? Their global agenda is paramount, their lack of empathy for ordinary people breathtaking.
For half a century green activists have insisted that their historical moment – and a particular generation – are the planet’s last hope.
When you dim your lights for Earth Hour, you’re protesting in a manner approved by multinational corporations. You’re allowing banks and insurance companies to tell you how to spend your Saturday night.
The IPCC is supposed to be “policy-neutral, never policy-prescriptive.” How can it be OK for its chairman to lobby for one policy in particular?
Back in 2007 IPCC chairman Pachauri made a prediction regarding the year 2012.
UN bureaucrats say climate change is a planetary emergency and that time is running out. So when US senators unanimously rejected the Kyoto Protocol where was Plan B?
Emotional, over-the-top language doesn’t come from real leaders in a time of real crisis. Rather, it’s a sign that someone’s trying to stampede public opinion.
22 years ago the UN said we had only 10 years to take global warming action. Otherwise, entire nations would drown due to rising sea levels by the year 2000.
Al Gore says climate change is a planetary emergency. But he’ll only tell a campus audience about it if the cheque is big enough.
Media coverage of climate change has a great deal in common with how the press covered the Y2K scare. There’s little evidence that news outlets learned much from that embarrassing episode.
17 years ago a Greenpeace report titled The Climate Time Bomb tried to frighten us with lurid images and dire predictions that have since failed.
40 years ago scientists said radical change was necessary if humanity was to survive. Along the way they endorsed a population prediction that now seems foolish.
While the rest of us approach challenges with determination, optimism, and faith in ourselves as problem solvers, drama queens see only worst-case scenarios. They exaggerate. They emotionalize.
Perhaps the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change doesn’t regard activist scientists as damaged goods because neither the National Academy of Sciences nor the American Association for the Advancement of Science does, either.
When people in affluent counties embrace new technologies we’re helping to make the entire world a better place. Really.
Having just spent 17 hours without electricity, I’m feeling especially keen on a stable energy supply.
Rajendra Pachauri, as chairman of what is supposed to be a respectable science body, has – with deliberation and forethought – publicly linked that body to left-wing political analysis and activism.
Before the IPCC was even founded, the Worldwatch Institute had already declared that global warming was caused by fossil fuels. Surely that makes the IPCC chairman’s decision to fraternize with this activist organization a bit awkward.
Museums acknowledge that, historically, Mother Nature killed off fish and caused glaciers to retreat. So why do these same institutions imply that similar events in the here-and-now are solely the fault of humans?
In the late 1800s cities were drowning in smelly, dirty, disease-spreading horse manure. The private automobile was a huge step forward, environmentally-speaking.
Half a century ago, a science journalist discovered that anything less than reverential reporting was interpreted by scientists as hostility. It would seem that climate scientists who label critics ‘anti-science’ come from a long tradition.
In 1970s and ’80s some scientists already believed human CO2 emissions would cause global warming. How do we know the IPCC’s 2007 conclusions weren’t preordained?
A full 13 years before the IPCC was born its first chairman seems to have already decided that fossil fuels affected the climate so adversely their use would need to be curtailed.
David Suzuki says the planet is in “far worse shape” today than 50 years ago. But a growing library of exhaustively researched books claim the opposite.
According to some people, only a “climatologist” can be a credible scientific voice in the climate debate. Why do we spend so much time trying to disqualify people – rather than addressing their ideas?
Australia’s poets have written about alternating droughts and floods since the early 1900s. Is a preoccupation with alleged global-warming-induced-droughts linked to too little government attention on precautionary flood measures?
Haunting the Library, a new blog, digs up news clippings that add important historical context to the climate debate.
It isn’t your imagination. We were advised that global warming would mean milder winters. The record-breaking cold temperatures & unusual snowfalls in recent years are odds with the claim that global warming is happening faster than predicted.
News reports from the 1970s said ocean temperatures were dropping, polar ice was growing, and the coldest temperatures in 200 years were being recorded at the Arctic Circle. We were told be worried. Very worried.
No matter what the concern, drama queen scientists have been pushing the same solution for decades: less consumption, less travel & less freedom. For them, every problem is a crisis that requires radical social change.
If climate change science is so convincing, why did Timothy Wirth schedule James Hansen’s historic 1988 testimony during the hottest time of the year? And why did he sneak into the hearing room the night before & open the windows so there’d be no air conditioning?
Some people argue that energy rationing of the sort imposed during wartime is necessary to save the planet. But World War II rationing made life miserable for ordinary people. It also nourished the black market & organized crime.
The UK’s Royal Society awarded an Esso Energy medal annually for 25 years. A short time later, when opinions on climate change diverged, the society began painting Esso’s parent company, ExxonMobil, as demon spawn.
One environmental scare story always seems to follow another. Even though the predicted disasters never materialize, we still believe the latest one.
A + B = C
A: Certain companies produce wind and solar power.
B: The rest of us pay inflated prices for this power.
C: Politicians point to the above as proof that they’re green.
Hostage-taker James Lee’s views about the planet being better off without humans are chillingly similar to those expressed by The Ecologist magazine in its debut editorial.
Back in 1969, smart people made some predictions regarding the effect carbon dioxide emissions would have on the climate by the year 2000. A 7-degree F increase in temperature and 10-foot sea level rises were among them. As usual, the predictions were wrong.
A historian says that while “other social movements…were frequently ridiculed or dismissed…the mass media accorded considerable respect to the environmental cause” when Earth Day was founded 40 years ago.
30 years ago Greenpeace rented creaky fishing boats. These days it purchases $22-million custom-built mega-yachts. The shoestring voices in the environmental debate now belong to skeptical bloggers.
Experts have often been spectacularly wrong. Believing their predictions – rather than thinking for ourselves – isn’t smart.
21 years ago, environmental guru Bill McKibben said we’d “burn up” in “a few more decades” if we didn’t stop using fossil fuels.
Scientists have made all sorts of predictions that never panned out. As this 1962 Popular Mechanics issue shows, the media has been hyping these predictions for decades.
The Ecologist magazine declared in its first editorial that humans are parasites, an infection, and a disease on planet Earth. We are “waste products” that long ago “ceased to play a useful ecological role.” Written by the “Godfather of Green,” this editorial is emphatically anti-humanitarian in its outlook. The Ecologist claims to have set “the environmental agenda since 1970.”
Certain ideas resurface again & again throughout human history. One of these is the notion that our world is on the brink of collapse. Revisiting news reports about the Y2K computer bug prior to the turn of the century provides an excellent reminder of how the media hypes all sorts of scare stories.
A decade ago, a climate scientist told the media that snow would be rare in Britain within a few years. But plenty has fallen in 9 of the last 10.
30+ years ago, we were told humanity faced “global disaster” and “worldwide catastrophe” if we didn’t radically change our lifestyles. That message now gets linked to global warming, but the analysis – and the fear mongering – is much older.
Links to some early reactions and analysis following the release into the public domain of a collection of documents that has come to be called “climategate.”
Planet Earth experiences frequent volcanoes, earthquakes, electrical storms, tsunamis & tornadoes. It’s unlikely that this immense, complex system can be controlled by humans.
A book published in the 1970s argued passionately that society couldn’t afford to ignore the danger posed by global cooling. The evidence was too strong, it said – and scientists who disagreed were being irresponsible. Sound familiar?
Since the 1970s, some scientists have embraced social & political activism. The public needs to be aware, therefore, that not every pronouncement made by a “scientist” is neutral or disinterested.
When political ideology is taken to an extreme, when it becomes the primary driving force behind decision-making, really bad things happen to both humans and the environment. Mao’s War Against Nature is a scary book – and a cautionary tale.
It seems not to have crossed Al Gore’s mind that some of us consider his arguments flawed, his data suspect & his rhetoric overwrought. Instead, he prefers to believe that human neo cortexes are too primitive – that we’re biologically incapable of grasping his apocalyptic message.
Activist scientist James Hansen says the “experts agree” that meeting our current energy needs is possible via efficiency measures & carbon-free sources. But lots of experts don’t agree. Does he make a habit of pretending those with contrary opinions don’t exist?
Two professors (who believe human-caused global warming is a problem) argue that the Kyoto Protocol was doomed to fail & that pushing for more policies of this sort wastes precious time.
A pragmatic analysis that reveals common ground between moderate climate activists & moderate climate skeptics.
Billions of years before humans appeared on this planet, the climate was doing something utterly natural – it was changing.