Thursday, April 26, 2007
Why Global Warming is a fake issue
(Graphic borrowed filched from CLS at freestudents.blogspot.com.)
THINK ABOUT IT. I know the lefties believe they're building up some serious momentum on the Global Warming fad, but it's just not the ticket to long-term ascendancy and power they think it is. Not because the danger has been overstated, which it almost certainly has been. The truth or falsity of the scientific claims is irrelevant to the question of what political advantage the Democrats can wring from them. What does matter is the elementary calculus of what makes a political issue potent enough to create a sea change in the electorate, and in this respect Global Warming couldn't be more of a loser for the party that tries to parlay it into a mandate.
Strange that the party which constantly talks about "kitchen table" issues could so entirely miss the fact that Global Warming isn't one of them. The most basic fact about a kitchen table issue is that it's something the electorate is experiencing right now. There's something that's causing them pain or want in their day-to-day lives, or there's the prospect of an immediate, achievable benefit in their day-to-day lives. That's it.
FDR rode the Great Depression to a generation of Democrat power. He was elected because the people were already suffering, a lot, and they wanted a savior. He received a second mandate after Pearl Harbor, because the people wanted revenge. Not the day before Pearl Harbor, please note, because although the world political situation was equally dire the day before, it wasn't hitting American kitchen tables and therefore wasn't important enough to occasion real sacrifice.
Ronald Reagan rode economic stagflation to power. The people were suffering 'right now' from 13 to 18 percent inflation they had endured long enough to associate with out-of-control big government policies and spending.
George W. Bush received a huge but short-lived mandate from the 9/11 attacks, because average Americans felt themselves under direct, immediate threat from a frightening, alien enemy.
A huge majority of Americans signed up for the "Global War on Terror," which was described from the start (regardless of how people wish to recast it now) as a painful struggle that could last for an entire generation or more. But just a little more than five years after 9/11, the immediacy of the fear has dissipated and "the people" want nothing more to do with fighting terrorists. Do the Islamic jihadists hate us any less? Have they abandoned their stated goal of destroying the west and creating a medieval theocracy that rules through terror, murder, and totalitarian oppression? No. But what have they done to us this week? Not much. So the people would rather think about something else, please.
And this is where the lefties have seriously bamboozled themselves. People are prepared to be "alarmed" about Global Warming precisely because it's so much less scary than murderous Islamofascist thugs who maybe can't be stopped from doing their worst. The warming catastrophe if it comes will take a long long time to reach the kitchen table, and it sorta kinda (at the moment) sounds like the ones who will have to pay for fixing it are all those rich, greedy corporations who are so much fun to hate until they start laying off the people who sit at our particular kitchen table.
But there's the rub. What happens to the appeal of Global Warming as an energizing issue when the people discover there's absolutely no upside to it? When they discover that the real 'vision' of the environmental crusaders is to exact an accelerating series of sacrifices that will hit the kitchen table damn quick -- higher fuel prices, frailer cars, lower standard of living -- with absolutely no prospect of immediate benefit other than some theoretical delay in a remote future disaster?
They're absolutely not going to buy it. They're already so fatigued with the GWOT that they're ready to turn and walk away from a military engagement with al qaeda that very few of them have sacrificed anything to support. Why on earth would they persevere in an even longer term cause that has yet to kill anyone when they finally realize that they're being asked to give up a century of technological progress and clean up after themselves like some Parris Island marine recruit?
When they find out how expensive it is to buy their electricity from wind farms and heat their houses with solar panels, they'll just say no. When you jack up their gas prices and impose SUV taxes to force them into expensive hybrids that are slower, smaller, and uglier than what they're driving now, they'll say "Hell no." And when you ask them to recycle still more trash, surrender their air-conditioners, ration their electrical usage, compost their own sewage, and become first vegetarians, then Vegans, their answer will be unprintable. Most people don't have the luxury of buying fictitious carbon indulgences just for the sake of pretending they're saving a planet that not one of them believes is in any serious danger from us, anyway. And if Kyoto or its successor reawakens the beast of runaway inflation, there aren't enough eco-platitudes in the universe to save the party in power frm the wrath of the voters.
Of course, there are probably a good many liberals trying to ride the Global Warming issue at the moment who know exactly how silly it all is. If they don't, they're fools. If they do, they're corrupt opportunists. Take your pick. If you still want to ride along with them, you have a constitutional right to be as big a fool as you want to be. But here's what you can take to the bank: the Europeans may be braindead enough to let themselves be regulated back to the nineteenth century or earlier, but Americans simply will not stand for it. And five years from now, they'll be as oblivious about the dangers of Global Warming as they are now about the several hundred million Islamic fanatics who want to cut their throats today.