The Relentless Morbidity of Environmentalism

It’s Caroline Lucas again.

Caroline Lucas MEP, who is expected to be elected as the Green Party’s first leader later this week, said: “People will be literally dying from cold this winter while companies like Shell and BP are making record profits – that outrages ordinary people and we need a party that is prepared to stand up about that … rather than having a Labour government that is cowering in a cave and scared of actually speaking out against people in the City.”

Nothing Caroline Lucas ever says is not about death.

Before we look at her morbidity, however, let’s get a couple of things out of the way… Hypothermia is a problem. So is expensive energy. But Lucas is not against expensive energy. Here she is, talking earlier in the year, on BBC Question Time, arguing for higher fuel prices.

[youtube mBTE4w3qIaw]

Curiously, she says we need higher fuel prices to modify our behaviour because ‘the end of cheap oil is over’. Could anything more stupid be said? Not only is the idea of taxing fuel redundant if it is becoming scarcer, the market gave Lucas the higher prices she was after, and now she calls it greedy! Whether it is green taxes, an inexplicable market phenomenon, or scarcity that pushes fuel prices up, it makes no difference. Higher prices mean we can do less, and poorer people bear the brunt. Higher fuel prices means more people dying. Fuel is really very useful stuff.

She is calling for energy companies to be forced to plough some of their profits back into “ensuring that some of the poorest people are able to keep warm”, and attacked Labour for presiding “over a period where we now have Victorian levels of social inequality”.

The Government has been resisting demands for a windfall tax to be levied against the energy companies, arguing that it would make Britain’s energy infrastructure unattractive to investors, just as it really needs upgrading. And who is standing in the way of that? That’s right… Caroline Lucas… who joined the Climate Campers this year, protesting at the proposed site of a new coal-fired power station, Kingsnorth.

Any government which commits to more coal fired power stations – and Kingsnorth is only the start – then claims to be aiming for a massive reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 is quite simply living in a fantasy land. … The Government should be showing real leadership in this debate, with measures to tackle rising energy costs and fuel poverty, as well as initiating major investment in energy efficiency, renewables and decentralised energy. According to its own figures, we could achieve a 30% reduction in energy use in the UK through existing efficiency measures alone.

Increasing efficiency and decentralising power generation is not going to make it more accessible to old people vulnerable to cold weather. Decentralising energy supply will make many people far more vulnerable to the climate. It will also make it vastly more expensive to produce, as the labour and maintenance costs increase. The idea that the market doesn’t exploit efficiency is just as absurd.

Let us put this bluntly, Lucas does not give a toss about old people. Unless, that is, they are dying. People who are dying, or are at risk of dying suddenly become political capital. This is the basis of Lucas’ morbidity. And it is the basis of environmental ethics. We compiled this video earlier in the year. Here is Lucas, in full doom mode, coming to a parliamentary constituency near you…

[youtube Higin1kY3PM]

Environmentalism exploits the vulnerable, because, even if we fail to connect with the idea of eco-apocalypse, we still might respond to the victims Greens claim to speak for. In the framework that the Greens have constructed, the environment is the mechanism through which moral acts are transmitted. The rise of fuel prices (which is a bad thing, unless they are demanding it), according to this thinking, reduces old people’s access to natural resources (partly by inflating the price, but also by standing in the way of renewable energy, which is imagined to be unfailingly equitable, just by itself), leaving them exposed to the cold climate, putting them at risk of hypothermia. Similarly, using fossil fuels is an act of violence against the poor further away, because they will bear the consequences of climate change. There is no room in this framework for a conception of ‘good’, which stands for the elevation of people in any way, such as reducing their vulnerability to climate by technological and economic development. A philosophy so fixated and premised on the idea of catastrophe can only think of things in terms of degrees of bad. Therefore environmentalism’s concern for the poor is predicated solely on their usefulness as victims. Everyone else is a culprit, the best they can achieve is neutrality.

The Green Party are the party of death. It’s all they can talk about, and it’s all they think about. Their unsophisticated reasoning reduces to a morbid fascination; an obsession with cancers, plagues, famines, epidemics, pandemics, chaos, destruction, doom. Political movements in the past have offered ways to overcome the challenges that society and individuals face from the natural world by way of ill-health, shortages, and the elements, but the Green Party represents something very different. Instead of challenging the inevitability of poverty’s consequences to generate support, environmentalism seeks to use the image of these consequences to discipline the public into accepting poverty as inevitable. The thinking is no deeper than “capitalism kills grannies”, “vote for me, or get cancer”, “car-drivers are baby killers” As George Monbiot once put it, “Global warming means that flying across the Atlantic is now as unacceptable as child abuse”. The objective of all this is a kind of ‘balance’ between poverty and somehow everything in the world being totally wonderful. Except that there is nothing positive about the environmentalist’s message. It has nothing to offer. And it is corrosive to any idea that life… and politics… can be about more than mere subsistence.

19 thoughts on “The Relentless Morbidity of Environmentalism”

  1. “Let us put this bluntly, Lucas does not give a toss about old people. Unless, that is, they are dying. People who are dying, or are at risk of dying suddenly become political capital.”

    Put another way, the poor and/or vulnerable is the club they use against our heads in the hopes that we’ll give in just to save our skulls.

    Like you said, they don’t really care about “the poor”, but obviously, they sure do need them [more than the poor needs them], or they wouldn’t keep using them to club us over the head with.

  2. I’m sure that the greens wouldn’t be against high fuel prices if 100% of the net price, above the cost of production, was a tax. Their real complaint isn’t that some people can’t afford fuel, its that the corporations are making a profit. Profit is evil and must be expunged.

    They don’t seem to acknowledge that prices are so high partly because of their insisted upon policies. In British Columbia, we now pay a gasoline tax, two cents on every litre of petrol. This tax was demanded by the greens. Now they complain that petrol is too expensive for the working class.

    Greens usually default to some sort of subsidy for the elderly and the poor, but that is disingenuous. CO2 doesn’t have a lower greenhouse coefficient because it is produced by the poor or the elderly. I wonder if Lucas would be willing to give all of her salary increase as leader to the hypothermic poor and elderly. Not likely.

    The only way to alleviate the predicament of those on fixed incomes is to reduce the price of fuel, across the board. Middle-class people are generally more generous when they actually have extra cash, so the effect might even be more pronounced. But then Lucas and her ilk wouldn’t have anything to complain about.

  3. “The party of Death”? Aren’t you being a bit hard on Ms Lucas and the Green Party? As far as I can see from the quotes you attribute to her, she’s simply drawing the logical conclusions from her beliefs, unlike the leaders of the major parties, who claim to believe the same IPCC dogma of impending disaster, but have only the most ludicrously inadequate and contradictory policies to deal with it.
    The Greens, as part of the radical left, campaign also against nuclear weapons and the Iraq war. No doubt they go on about death there, as well. And so they should. The difference of course is that nuclear weapons and the Iraq war really exist. The problem is not the morbid state of mind of radicals (although they probably are a bit Eeyorish. I know I am). The problem is their having hitched their wagon to a chimera. Their policies, like all policies which put global warming at centre stage, will harm the poor . Ms Lucas, unlike gvernment spokesmen, seemed aware of this.
    Monbiot is a more worthy object of your spleen, since he probably influences far more of the chattering classes than Ms Lucas. In the article you indicate (from 1999) he says “climate change .. makes genocide and ethnic cleansing look like sideshows..” Since he wrote that, world temperatures have wobbled downwards a bit. Has he ever retracted any of this stuff?

  4. You people are nuts.

    It’s not about some old farts carking it – it’s about the CHILDREN!!!!!1!!!11!

    We need to do everything for the children, and if we fail to do so, it is CHILD ABUSE on a societal scale.

    Failing to look after the very air that our children breathe is as morally deficient as allowing Anglican Priests to have their wicked way with altar boys.

    How can you possibly live with a site called “Climate Resistance”?

    You people shame me as so-called members of the human race.

  5. Geoff,

    The point of saying that the Greens are the party of death was intended to show that their outlook is devoid of any conception of good. Put another way, politics ought to be about life, and how we can make possible the kind of life which is worth living. Instead, Greens threaten us with Armageddon, unless we obey the tenets of environmentalism. Lucas is unable to sustain any argument without framing it in terms of death, catastrophe, and the end of the world. Without panic and alarm, the Green Party would have nothing.

    Certainly Lucas is following the logical extension of her beliefs, but her beliefs are that unless we instigate the reform of absolutely everything, we will die in a horrid climate catastrophe. She’s not arguing for anything. This is why we would question your argument that the Green Party and Lucas represent the Left. Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that many Greens do not object to capitalism; there are plenty of Green capitalists. Of those who object to capitalism, what they want to put in its place is not the result of the critique of it that is advanced on the basis that the relations it forms between people, but because of the ‘catastrophic’ effect it has on the natural world, upon which people exist. As we say above, in the environmentalist’s framework, ‘the environment is the mechanism through which moral acts are transmitted’.

    We don’t agree that Lucas is aware that Green policies harm the poor. Environmentalism, by virtue of environmental determinism cannot make an adequate distinction between the ‘health’ of the environment, and the health of a society. What environmentalism wants to achieve is mere subsistence in a post-industrial society. Finally, as someone who campaigns against animal research, in favour of ‘natural’ and ‘alternative’ therapies in place of evidence-based conventional medicine, we believe that she is totally absorbed by magical thinking.

    On your point about the Greens and war. In 1998/9 Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer of the German coalition Government approved NATO intervention in the former Yugoslavia. Curiously, Radovan Karadzic was a founder member of the Yugoslavian Green Party following the end of communism. Sure, these are just two people, amongst many thousands of Greens in Europe. And of course, the German’s are not the only Green Party in Europe. The point is that a commitment to environmentalism is not necessarily a commitment to pacifism.

  6. Here’s another example of Lucas, framing her economic policy in terms of environmental catastrophe from today’s New Statesmen:

    But we don’t only face a financial crisis. In fact, it’s a triple crunch of financial meltdown, an accelerating climate crisis, and soaring energy prices underpinned by an encroaching peak in oil production, all of which have their origins firmly rooted in the current model of globalisation.

    That means that we need not only a structural transformation of the regulation of national and international financial systems, but also a massive and sustained programme to invest in energy conservation and renewable energies, coupled with effective demand management.

    We need a “carbon army”, trained and ready to take up the huge job opportunities that will come from a switch to a zero carbon economy. That means skilled jobs for a massive switch to micro, small scale and more localised power generation, a huge expansion in public transport provision and investment in energy efficient technology.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/caroline-lucas/2008/09/green-party-british-politics

  7. Geoff, the ‘Party of Death’ schtick is simply another example of this blog’s devotion to the party line as laid down by Frank Furedi, one-time chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and propagated faithfully by RCP offshoots such as Living Marxism, Spiked, the Institute of Ideas, etc.

    Furedi pronounced some time ago that environmentalism is a ‘death cult’ – a line now parrotted endlessly by acolytes such as Brendan O’Neill at Spiked – and by the self-styled challengers of orthodoxy who run this blog.

  8. Kaboom,

    I”m not sure how old you are, which is only relevant in terms of remembered history. But the air over most of the affluent west is much cleaner than it was just 50 years ago. There are certain exceptions, but they are not the rule. In North America, our water used to be so polluted that many lakes were considered dead. Several rivers were fire hazzards with a few actually burning. Those same lakes and rivers have recovered due to the actions of our affluent govenments and ecologically minded people who were willing to put their money up front. People like Lucas are against affluence. The truth is that it takes affluence to fix the problems, poor countries don’t have the extra money needed to fix their pollution problems or to rehabilitate forests and wild places.

    In Canada, we have an organization established by hunters called Ducks Unlimited. That organization has done more to secure natural habitat and to rehabilitate old farmland than all the environmentalist groups combined. We also have an organization called the Nature Conservancy that uses money and land donated by affluent people to increase habitats and to reduce negative environmental impact. Again, more than the collective environementalist crowd.

    If we are to ensure that all children have clean air to breathe and safe water to drink, we have to raise their standards of living, not decrease our own. If 100% of your time is spent securing food, medicine, and fuels, you don’t have a lot of time left over to care for your environment.

  9. Kaboom said;
    Failing to look after the very air that our children breathe is as morally deficient as allowing Anglican Priests to have their wicked way with altar boys.

    :- In which case you are guilty as well – you answered this post on your computer(which you don’t need) using electric you didn’t need to – which means by green logic you were wrong to do so – in fact anything you do may be at the futures expense

    The religious reference is good tho since I oft wonder if the green movement isn’t actually a religious quasi pagan movement which replaces the word ‘God’ with “Climate’ and ‘Sin’ with “Carbon’

  10. I think calling them the party of death might be glamorizing them just a little. Lowered expectations, narrow horizons, ever-dwindling criteria for sustainability… Not “death” as such, perhaps, but “not really living”…

  11. Guys, I think Kaboom’s post might have been a bit tongue-in-cheek. Either way, taking it too seriously is not useful.

    No less a clown is Talisker.

    Talisker, something seems to be preventing you from expressing your objection to IoI/Spiked/Furedi lucidly. After umpteen comments here, you’ve yet to state why an association with them is a bad thing. Yet we’ve given you all the space below our posts you need to outline whatever it is you want to get off your chest. All we can understand from your comments here is that we’ve written a just couple of articles and book reviews for Spiked & the IoI over the last few years, which somehow renders us unthinking ‘acolytes’ of Furedi. It would be no more meaningful for us to state that anyone who has ever written for or agrees with the Guardian is a brainwashed moron who lives under the spell of George Monbiot. We are not Spiked/IoI/Furedi. So if you have some grievance that you’re trying to convey, you’re failing on two substantial counts. All that happens is that you look a bit… well… mad. Why don’t you try saying what it is that you don’t like, rather than conspiracy-mongering like some latter-day McCarthyite?

    You mentioned that “Furedi pronounced some time ago that environmentalism is a ‘death cult’”, yet we don’t seem to be able to find any such article indexed on Google. Might you point us to it? Or were you just making stuff up? Thought so.

  12. Alex,

    What we wanted to show was how Greens generally, and Lucas in particular are unable to frame their ideas in any other terms than death. Death is used as a vehicle to persuade people to accept the arguments for lower horizons and ‘sustainability’, because they fail by themselves.

    Perhaps you are right that the expression in question over-eggs the point. But if it’s all they can talk about, the cap fits.

  13. Point taken – they do seem to couch everything in absolute terms. I remember being handed a religious tract once which had a simple diagram on the front page; an arrow pointing upwards and another arrow pointing downwards, accompanied by the caption: “With Jesus – Heaven. Without Jesus – Hell.” Caroline Lucas could adopt something similarly simple: “With us – you will narrowly avoid death and continue to eke out an existence. Without us – you will live an unsustainable life and will die.”

  14. “Talisker, something seems to be preventing you from expressing your objection to IoI/Spiked/Furedi lucidly. […] Why don’t you try saying what it is that you don’t like, rather than conspiracy-mongering like some latter-day McCarthyite?”

    Because it is all a conspiracy with Tin Hat Talisker.

    The idea that anyone can reach a conclusion of any kind through nothing more than reasoned analysis of the arguments being presented must seem pretty exotic to someone whose whole outlook on life is framed in ideological terms.

    But then, if your life IS solely framed in ideological terms, it’s hard to see how anyone else’s is not.

  15. I should first of all apologise for misquoting the Dear Leader. The phrase Furedi actually uses is ‘culture of death’. Other terms much favoured by the former RCP chairman and his followers in attempting to slur environmentalism are ‘miserabilism’, ‘misanthropic’ and ‘anti-human’ (funnily enough, these all seem to crop up on your blog with remarkable regularity).

    Here are a few from many possible examples:

    Furedi on the ‘culture of death’ – here he seeks to blame a high-school massacre in Finland on ‘anti-humanist’ environmental thinking.
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/4065/

    Brendan O’Neill churns out a point-by-point rehash of Furedi’s Finland massacre piece in the Guardian’s Comment is Free spot.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/nov/14/ratinghumanity

    Furedi at it again – this time the ‘culture of death’ is fingered for the spate of suicides amongst teenagers in Bridgend. It seems there no limits to the devious ways in which this misanthropic, anti-human environmentalism is eating away at the minds of our young people. Be afraid…Be very afraid! (And remember, this is the author of ‘The Culture of Fear’ speaking.)
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/earticle/4632/

    Furedi believes that arguments in favour of birth control are motivated by environmentalism’s ‘loathing of all things human’. What else could possibly explain such madness?
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/printable/5521/

    Giving an imaginative new twist to a familiar theme, O’Neill argues that calling for conservation of water resources ‘reveals the discomfort with human life itself that courses through the veins of environmentalism, and the contemporary sense of shame about humanity’s presence on the planet’.
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/5603/

    Neil Davenport re-iterates the Furedi-ite orthodoxy: at the root of environmentalism ‘lies a sentiment that humans no longer have a place on the planet’. What self-respecting member of the Spiked/RCP sect could dare to doubt it?
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/3473/

    You ask how I take issue with your own pretty much identikit views. Well, it’s fairly basic, really. The vast majority of environmentalists are motivated by the very opposite of ‘misanthropy’, which is to say they wish to protect human life and livelihoods by preserving the very conditions that make these possible. The most likely scenario in which humanity may be reduced to conditions of mere scrabbling for survival is through rapid and irreversible changes to the climate systems that have provided a relatively stable and favourable environment for human societies to develop since the end of the Ice Age.

    Far from being anti-rational or anti-humanist, most environmentalists place a high value on the extremely strong scientific evidence for anthropogenic global warming, and believe that it is possible by an effort of human political will to change patterns of carbon usage in order to avert the severe social and economic consequences that would result from acceleration of this warming. Most – rightly, I think – see this as the greatest challenge of our times, though by no means the only one.

    As to your observation that death ‘is all they [the Green Party] can talk about”, I’d simply refer people to the Green Party website at http://www.greenparty.org.uk/, where this assertion may readily be put to the test. The main items on the front page concern council housing, the awarding of the UK Census contract to a US-based arms manufacturer, pollution taxes, the treatment of Mongolian dissidents, discrimination faced by ethnic minority lawyers, heavy-handed policing of climate protestors and the performance of Boris Johnson as London mayor.

    I dare say, however, that anyone versed in Furedi-ite analysis would have little trouble seeing through such flimsy attempts to mask the misanthropic, anti-human agenda of the Party of Death.

  16. Talisker,

    I’ve just done a search of our blog posts, and I can report that the word ‘miserablism’ has not, as far as I can tell, been used on the Climate-Resistance blog. The term ‘anti-human’ has been used 3 times. And the word ‘misanthropic’ has been used 4 times. Of the results returned, one is a review of several articles on Spiked, and two are the same (misanthropic and anti-human both appeared in the same post). I make that 6 posts, out of the 156 articles posted to this site over the past 17 months. Our posts are normally quite long, but let’s take a conservative estimate, and say that the average post contains 500 words. The total word count of Climate-resistance is therefore 78,000, of which the terms in question appear just 7 times. Or 0.009% of all words.

    So when you say that ‘funnily enough, these [terms] seem to crop up on your blog with remarkable regularity’, we get an idea as to what may be going on in your head such that you see conspiracies, and why you seem to fail to treat our articles (and Spiked’s, for that matter) with any sense of proportion.

    I also searched Google for each of the terms (‘misanthropic’, ‘anti-human’, ‘miserablism’), each with ‘environmentalism. ‘Misanthropic’ returned one article by Furedi in the first 50 sites. ‘Anti-human’ returned 0 results relating to the individuals in question. ‘Miserablism’ returned 2 Spiked articles, and the Spiked Wikipedia profile, 1 Times article by Mick Hume, and 1 article by Daniel Ben Ami. So just 4 articles, showing that these terms are in general usage in relation to environmentalism, and by no means exclusive. You might want to grill the Pet Shop Boys about their use of the word ‘miserbalism’. Perhaps they are an ‘RCP-front’ pop-group. Your rather shabby textual analysis is no substitute for actually understanding the arguments which are being made. Nor is it any good for establishing the existence of conspiratorial networks of ex-trots.

    We looked at the first and second articles you’ve linked to, relating to the cultural influence of misanthropic ideas such as particular expressions of radical Islamism, and the environmentalism of Pentti Linkola. The latter of which influenced the young Finn’s view of the world, and, presumably, his decision to shoot seven of his school colleagues. You claim that you belong to a breed of non misanthropic environmentalists. If this is so, why are you so upset that Furedi believes misanthropic environmentalism to be a problem?

    And so, as a fluffy, nice Green, you wouldn’t share the views of the neo-malthusians, such as the Optimum Population Trust, and other’s views that population must be controlled. And surely, having such a view, you would agree with Furedi that the very idea of population control (amongst a number of other ideas) creates a very negative view of humanity, that must, necessarily, go on to be expressed as negative consequences. So what precisely is your problem with the third, fourth and fifth on your list? Surely you recognise that environmentalism has some nasty, misanthropic elements? And surely you must agree that they, as ideas, would have some effect on the way people – especially young people – view the world? Surely you need to distance yourself from that kind of environmentalism, and argue for a positive conception of environmentalism – the one that’s caught your imagination? But you don’t.

    Tell us about this new, happy, human-friendly environmentalism which is espoused by the ‘vast majority of environmentalists’. We take care to read a great deal of environmentalist literature – it consumes many of our waking moments – and we’ve yet to see it. We’ve posted many articles, criticising the environmentalists who, we must assume, include those that belong to the nice, fluffy, human-friendly camp. We’ve tried to look into their ideas and influences. Clearly we’ve misunderstood them, because you’ve posted your comments here. But you don’t explain your objection adequately. Instead, you mutter stuff about ‘Furedi’, ‘acolytes’, ‘the RCP’. We’re left none the wiser as to how Caroline Lucas is supposed to be put into the nice green camp. Can you see why that’s a problem for you?

    You make the claim that this unidentified form of environmentalism isn’t anti-human and isn’t anti-rational, because it’s got ‘science’ behind it. Well, we’ve looked at that claim on a number of occasions too, particularly when it has been presented as the foundation of a political argument. It rarely is quite as strong as you claim it is. But again, instead of picking us up where we might have missed a vital part of the argument linking climate change science to environmental politics, you instead talk about right-wing crypto-Marxist conspiracies. Can you see why that isn’t very convincing?

    Neither do we find the concerns on the Green Party site that you have linked to particularly convincing. No doubt they are expressed as well-meaning. But that is not the point. Discussions about political ideas and ways of looking at the world cannot be about the feelings of proponents of various causes, because nobody has any way of establishing the truth of their feelings. Saying ‘we care about old people’ one moment, while arguing for the raising of prices and the reduction in standards of living the next is simply inconsistent. Saying that we care about poor people, while chastising ‘consumer culture’ the next (most people –never mind the poor – don’t actually get to spend spend spend with the abandon which is attributed to them) is inconsistent. Saying that you believe in democracy while calling your detractors ‘deniers’ equivalent to ‘holocaust deniers’, and calling for the closing down of debates and the censure of certain documentary films because they ‘mislead the public’ is inconsistent. Yet those are the actions of the subject of the above post.

    Where is the ‘nice’ environmentalism?

  17. Coming new to this, I thought Talisker’s arguments rational and respectful, and your response disingenuous. The way I would judge whether an article was misanthropic or miserabilist is by reading it, not by googling for those words! By the time I’d got to the end of your defence, I’d realized you get your fun out of specious ‘rationalizing’. So I won’t be wasting my precious time on your website any more.

  18. Ag,

    Knowing as we do that you’re not coming to this site quite as ‘new’ as you claim, perhaps you would understand if we expressed it like this…

    We don’t think Talisker’s argument was any more respectful and rational than ours would be, were we to suggest that your views might have been preconceived, were it the case (for instance) that you were on the Climate Camp, or had many close (and, I might add, lovely and certainly well-meaning) relatives and friends who are very Green. It would suggest that your views are formed, not by your intellectual engagement with the arguments, ideas and debate, but by your association with others.

    The point of searching for the terms Talisker introduced was intended to show that his form of textual analysis was ill-conceived, Ag, so your point is somewhat redundant and misdirected.

    It’s a shame that you’ve decided not to visit the site in the future. It would at the very least help you to understand objections to the views you seem to sympathise with, and perhaps encourage you to develop a more robust defence of them.

  19. On your point about Ms Lucas being “totally absorbed by magical thinking” (September 1st) You might be interested in Sir James Frazer’s take on this in “The Golden Bough” (1890 !). He praised magical thinking as a first tentative attempt by primitive man to try and understand his environment. For instance, in time of drought, some bright spark would announce: “if I sprinkle water on the ground, perhaps the rain will fall”. Sometimes it worked, and the magician would “win for [himself] positions of the highest dignity and authority”. More often it didn’t, and he would “be knocked on the head by his disappointed and angry employers”.
    The intelligent magician’s response to this dangerous (to him) situation was to invent religion. Instead of saying “I can make the rain fall” he would say “I can try to intercede with Someone Up There who can make the rain fall. Whether it works or not depends on your good behaviour.” The magician became a priest and became untouchable.
    The anti-AGM movement has recently gone through a similar metamorphosis. Lucas and co are still at the magical stage of “control your carbon footprint and all will be well”. But the world (G8, the media) has moved on to: “trust us / the consensus / the IPCC. Pay your carbon taxes and Believe.” Lucas is a magician, a fallible human being (maybe that’s why she garners so few votes). OK, she has the Faith, but she’s still basically a sprinkler. The power is now with the priests whose imput drives all our major political parties and media.
    I (and, I suspect, you) share with the warmists a certain compulsive / obsessive character trait which makes us fear the worst. They think CO2 will destroy humanity; I think their obsessions are destroying democracy and threatening the Popperian idea of an open society. Let’s hope we’re all wrong.

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