From one of my email friends:
As a measure of how much the environmentalists have been demoralized, consider the recent British television special described below, in which a progression of greens admitted to various sins.
Note that they did not reject environmentalism or global warming as such. But they did confess to substantial evils, such as “misanthropy” in the way they advocated their views. They seem to be at much the same point as the old socialists immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union: still not ready to admit that their system was evil, but already doing a post-mortem on how they failed to achieve their utopia.
“What the Green Movement Got Wrong: Greens Come to See the Error of Their Ways ,” Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph, Nov. 8
(Excerpts from Moore’s review of this TV show follow:)
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this programme is that it was made at all. It shows how the Green monolith has cracked. For many years, Channel 4 would not have dared devote an hour to the errors of environmentalism….It was a platform for every sinner that repenteth. Former hippy Greens, directors of Greenpeace, the chairmen of the Copenhagen Climate Council and the like, queued up to admit error. Their reasons for doing so were interesting. None of them repudiated all their previous ideas….But, as one put it, environmentalists over the past 40 years have “failed to achieve Job One, which was to protect the planet”.
At least three central reasons were identified.
Misanthropy. According to a veteran American Green, Stewart Brand, too many Greens believe “Nature good–humans not so good”. This approach is ultimately unpersuasive, since it is human beings you are trying to persuade. A policy focused on preventing human activity is one which defies human nature….
Exaggeration. If you say that the end of the world is nigh all the time, people start to disbelieve you. Paul Ehrlich talked utter rubbish about how the world would starve in the 1970s….Green activists give out the figure of 93,000 for deaths attributable to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986. The figure favoured by the recent UN investigation is 65. The idea that there are only a few months or years left to save the planet is both so discouraging and so untrue that it disables the cause it is supposed to galvanise…..
Damage. The most powerful part of the programme was that arguing that the Green obsession with banning and preventing things has done actual harm. The refusal to contemplate nuclear power has encouraged more use of fossil fuels and therefore – if you believe the warmist theories – more adverse climate change. The banning of pesticides has led to the deaths of millions of Africans from malaria. The obsessive hatred of GM crops led, in 2002, to the Zambian government refusing US supplies of GM food sent to relieve its people’s starvation….
Another aspect of the damage done is the effect of fear. After Chernobyl, local people, told that their children would be deformed, had huge numbers of abortions. Their levels of alcoholism and stress rose appallingly. Even in Britain, we all know people whose lives are blighted by unnecessary anxiety about the world boiling, flooding, melting down etc. It is a terrible thing to frighten people for no good reason.
Out of all this breast-beating came hope. The rueful campaigners of yesteryear now see science and technology as their friend. We can produce nuclear power much more safely than in the past….In California, “geo-engineering” is being developed so that humans will be able to change the weather one way to correct it if they have already changed it too far the other….
I was not persuaded that all will be well….It was in the interests of the ex-radicals, many of whom now work for businesses in the energy field, to be cheerful. At least their views seemed infinitely more realistic than the orthodoxies they once espoused.
If the drift of this programme is correct, the consequences for politics will be large. All the main political parties have chosen to put their eggs in the frail, Fairtrade, hand-weaved basket of Greenery, imposing rising levies to develop “renewable” sources of power which cannot do the job demanded of them. The basket is starting to break. There will be a political prize, I suspect, for the first party which dares to put its eggs elsewhere.