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Book describes attempt to impose climate servitude
In his brilliant new book, The Age of Global Warming, British writer Rupert Darwall notes a phenomenon known as “climate change derangement syndrome.” The phenomenon was on prominent display this week when NDP leader Tom Mulcair went to Washington.
It wasn’t just that Mr. Mulcair’s attack on the climate policies of Stephen Harper was diplomatically inappropriate, or that his support for the recent New York Times anti-Keystone XL editorial was fatuous, it was that Mr. Mulcair’s stance made absolutely no sense if he is truly concerned about the welfare of Canadians – or indeed humanity as a whole.
Mr. Mulcair criticized Mr. Harper for pulling out of Kyoto, but is he even aware that the Americans never signed on to Kyoto in the first place? To find out why, Mr. Mulcair badly needs to read Mr. Darwall’s book, which provides a thoroughly researched and lucidly written account of the truly amazing cultural, scientific and political background to the dominant global political issue of our age, at least until the subprime crisis came along.
The book should profoundly embarrass virtually the entire global scientific community, either for actively supporting the political corruption of science, or for standing silently by while it happened — although the consequences of speaking out shouldn’t be underestimated. As Mr. Darwall observes, skeptics “needed to be crushed and dissent de-legitimized. They were stooges of oil companies and fossil fuel interests, free market ideologues, or climate change deniers.”
Nobody foresaw the technocratic danger than emerged with the climate issue better than U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower. Most people are aware of Ike’s warning in 1961 about the military-industrial complex. Less quoted is his observation that “In holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
Mr. Darwall’s book, which is replete with such insightful references, dates the rise of the modern environmental movement to Rachel Carson’s wildly alarmist book, Silent Spring. Ms. Carson is one of three prominent women in Mr. Darwall’s story. The second is the British intellectual Barbara Ward, who essentially invented “sustainable development” to stitch together Western environmentalism with the development aspirations of poor nations. Sustainable development was an “ideology looking for a science.” It found it in global warming.
The book’s third, and most surprising, female protagonist is British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who was important in putting global warming on the international agenda and setting Britain on the path to becoming —— at considerable cost — a “champion” of draconian policy. It is profoundly ironic that the woman who helped bring down the Soviet empire should have then supported what amounted to the reincarnation of bureaucratic socialism via the environment.
For the rest of this column, please go to the National Post website: http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/03/13/peter-foster-deranged-science-peverse-policy/