March 30, 2009
Liberal Authoritarianism and Earth HourBy Rick Moran
Got up this morning and shoveled 4 inches of Global Warming off my driveway.
I updated the old weather joke because it actually did snow 4 inches last night -- a "Midwest Express" that roared through the plains bringing a springtime blast of winter's dying breath. We are likely to have a couple more of these little surprises before we can officially celebrate the advent of the warming season. It better get here quick. Opening Day is a week from Tuesday.
I also altered the cliché above in honor of "Earth Hour" - one of those earnest, silly liberal attempts at "raising the consciousness" of people about one cause or another. Who can forget such planet altering events as "Hands Across America" or "Live Aid" concerts, or the "Let's Give More Money to Africa so the Kleptocrats can fatten their Swiss Bank Accounts" concert? The total impact on public policy and probably on people's "consciousness" was about the same as watching an episode of "Dancing with the Stars" -- without the advantage of seeing scantily clad women twirling and dipping like Whirling Dervishes.
The attempt to raise the profile of Global Warming as an issue was apparently a success -- at least among the left. I asked an elderly neighbor whether he was going to participate in Earth Hour by shutting off his lights for 60 minutes. When he discovered that the event was to take place at 8:30 local time around the globe he just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Betty and I are already in bed by then. Maybe I should turn off the TV?"
I assured him that the target of this protest were electric lights and not essential stuff like TV's. He thought perhaps he would turn off the nightlight in the bathroom but then he wondered if the Earth Hour folks would cover his medical costs if his wife stumbled and fell in the dark. I didn't have an answer for him and just let it drop.
Of course, Global Warming deniers celebrated Earth Hour a little differently and probably had more fun with their participation given the circumstances. Many on the opposite side of AGW debate decided to turn every single light in their houses on for that hour. The response was declared to be "stupid" by leading lights of the left.
"Stupid" as opposed to what? Believing that it makes one iota of difference to anyone, anywhere, anytime that turning off your lights for an hour does anything except make the participant feel a false sense of moral superiority not to mention an obnoxious piety about an issue that, despite claims to the contrary, is still open for scientific debate?
Pardon me but the very idea that Earth Hour will show anybody anything, prove anything to anybody, raise the consciousness of anyone who doesn't already have their consciousness raised on the issue, change any minds, alter the science, frighten politicians, or "help save the planet" is idiotic and bespeaks a frightening ignorance that is more dangerous than global warming itself.
I have news for my buddies on the left; Earth Hour was "stupid" - an insult to common sense, a slap in the face to reason and logic, and a as far from "reality" as the "reality based community" has ever strayed. It was a pointless waste of time and effort and calling your opponent's counter-protest" "stupid" was more revealing of your inner demons on this issue than you realize.
Of course, all protests are "stupid" unless liberals start them. They are the arbiters of what is worthy of protest and what isn't. They are the judges as to whether a protest is legitimate or whether it is "stupid." Hence, all protests not started by liberals are, by definition, illicit by nature. In fact, by trying to delegitimize protests not given the liberal seal of approval, and dismissing them as "stupid," the left demonstrates its love of authoritarian tactics in dealing with its opponents.
The AGW deniers "protest" was actually a clever way to mock the event -- something that flew so far over the heads of Earth Day supporters that it didn't even muss their hair on the way by. And there was plenty to point a finger at and laugh. First and foremost, the schoolboy earnestness with which these events are planned and executed, accompanied as they are by grandiose claims of importance and significance. Is it stupidity or hubris that makes the left think that ordinary people care one whit what they think is important? Yes all sorts of government buildings and landmarks as well as "socially conscious" corporations dimmed their lights for Earth Hour but how many individual citizens in various countries did the same? Grandiose claims of a billion people participating cannot possibly be proved -- which is why AGW advocates are using that number. It might not even be close to the truth but it sure sounds impressive, doesn't it?
Using their logic, I can claim that 100 million Americans participated in the counter-protest mocking Earth Hour and I would have the exact same legitimacy in making that assumption as they have in saying that a billion people dimmed their lights at 8:30 on Saturday night. The only difference is I'm not an AGW proponent which means my estimate is automatically "illegitimate."
Being humorless twits that many in the AGW movement have shown themselves to be, the concepts of irony and sarcasm are as alien to them as if they originated on the moon. Hence, the idea of turning one's lights on instead of off makes the counter-protestors dangerous and not simply trying to make an attempt at humor -- a somewhat lame attempt I'll admit but a better response to global warming than the United Nations is set to announce.
It seems the UN has got it in its head that it can run the economies of the entire planet. The same folks who ran the Oil For Food program for Saddam and ended up stealing more money than in any other caper in human history are proposing to "reorder" the economies of the world and save us all from rising temperatures.
This 16 page note that will be distributed at the climate change conference in Bonn next week and will form the basis for action when the "Copenhagen Accords" replace the Kyoto treaty in 2012 is the most draconian, sovereignty-destroying, illiberal plan ever devised by the UN. Every nightmare the right has ever had about the UN will come to pass if even part of this plan is adopted.
Now, it is not likely much of this plan will actually be adopted. The idea of the UN dictating to the United States, or any other industrial democracy, which economic policies they are to follow, from which new power plants they will permit to taking the power to impose tariffs away from our Congress, is ludicrous.
But it is instructive as to what the AGW crowd thinks they can get away with in the future. The plan calls for a reduction by the US of 20-40% of its emissions by 2020 and 90% by 2050 -- an impossible goal that would destroy our economy. That result is secondary to the idea that the United Nations would have the power to regulate our energy consumption, our energy industries, and all industries that produce anything by burning fossil fuels.
As I said, a mad plan that has no chance of being ratified by the Senate -- today. What the future will bring is anyone's guess. A few more years of hysteria over AGW and it is foreseeable that people will be willing to give up anything in order that the United Nations save them. And the longer this economic crisis continues, the more likely people will be willing to give up their sovereignty. Like President Obama relying on the crisis to pass his left wing agenda items that have nothing to do with economic recovery but everything to do with "reordering" America, the world body will seek to use a crisis that they themselves manufacture in order to grab control of the world's economy. And they will be cheered on by the very people who believe any protest not deemed by them as legitimate is by definition, invalid.
This streak of leftist authoritarianism manifests itself most noticeably in the debate over AGW. Stifling debate by threatening to try as criminals people who disagree with them, declaring an end to the scientific method by saying that the debate about AGW is "over," spreading lies about skeptics by positing the notion that they are all being paid by oil and coal companies, attempting to ruin the careers of scientists who disagree with them, and seeking to censor scientific studies that challenge AGW orthodoxy -- all point to a desire by AGW advocates to control minds by not allowing any dissent.
The fact that these tactics are generally supported by liberals is indicative of their own doubts about the efficacy of climate change and their desire to close their own minds to any information that would cause them to doubt, or otherwise alter their perception about the debate over AGW. This makes leftists not only authoritarians but stupid ones at that -- a very dangerous combination that the United Nations appears to be counting on in order to make their plan a reality.
Personally, I am agnostic on the issue. Free people deciding freely to reduce CO2 levels while the jury is still out on climate change is fine with me. We should rely on the scientific method, one of the crowning glories of the western world: observation, hypothesis, predictions, experimentation.
To date, the authoritarian left has prevented this from dominating the global warming discussion. Perhaps it is due to so many of their observations proving to be wrong, or their hypotheses not panning out, or their experiments blowing up in their faces, or their predictions not coming true.
In that case, it is understandable why the left has taken to doing everything in their power to stifle free speech and debate over global warming.
Rick Moran is associate editor of American Thinker and proprietor of the website Rightwing Nuthouse.