Dear Leader slayed it on The Bolt Report the other day:
With the same force we said ‘Stop the Boats’, we have to say ‘Stop the Climate Con’. And by ‘Stop the Climate Con’, we mean ‘Stop lying to the people of Australia on both sides of politics that you can have clean and green energy without destroying the economy. Stop lying. Choose between the two. You either go the Left route and say, ‘We don’t care about the cost, we don’t care how high electricity bills go, we don’t care who goes out of business, we don’t care what happens to the economy or manufacturing. We’re going to pursue our climate change agenda.’ Fine.
He’s right, of course. As it’s oft been noted, environmentalism is a bizarre ideology. On the surface, it makes sense: if we have to suffer a bit now in order to achieve sustainability, future generations will thank us for it. It’s just utilitarianism; the goal is to minimize harm, because we can’t abolish it altogether. But that doesn’t quite explain the greenies’ outright sociopathy. Environmentalists don’t regret the economic damage they cause working- and middle-class Aussies. When they happen upon some uneducated boob who’d rather not sacrifice himself and his family to Mother Gaia, their response tends to be one of mixed annoyance and scorn.
We could chalk this up to the greater hypocrisy of Leftism: just as the partisans of tolerance make the most exacting censors, and the champions of the proletariat are the most unselfconscious elitists, so too our humanist friends tend to value the lives of ferns above those of flesh-and-blood people, let alone unborn babies.
But I couldn’t help but think it was something more than that.
I was still mulling over Rowan’s words when I finally started reading Ryszard Legutko’s new book Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies. As it happens, my ‘something more’ was right there in the introduction. Legutko writes, ‘Although today’s ideology of environmentalism fashioned idolatrous reverence for the earth and its fauna and flora, it did not change the [Lefty] enthusiasm for treating human nature and society in a dangerously technological manner.’
That’s exactly right: it’s the progressives’ unflinchingly materialist view of the world. They see human beings as equal parts producers and consumers – cogs in an economic machine that must be carefully managed, from their work habits to their diet to their recreation. Climate change sceptics, therefore, aren’t to be empathized with, because any harm that comes to them is scientifically irrelevant. This is why climate change denialism is so often likened to creationism. It doesn’t matter that the adoption of Darwin’s theories never led to a tax hike, a wave of unemployment, or skyrocketing utilities bills. That has nothing to do with proper execution of the scientific method.
Seriously, next time an SJW compares climate change to evolution, ask them what the human cost of adopting Darwinism was. The cleverer, more insidious ones will point out that climate change has tremendous human cost. (It set off the Syrian Civil War, after all!) But mostly you’ll get blank stares, like they don’t understand the question. Because they don’t. They are – and I’m trademarking this one – empathetically autistic. They can only ape compassion. It doesn’t come to them spontaneously. And even at that they can only empathize according to predetermined formulae. Refugees, yes; battlers, no. Blacks, yes; whites, no. Gays, yes; straights, no. Eco-terrorists, yes; climate denalists… well.
Admittedly I have my share of greenie sympathies. I think it’s generally a sound idea to not pollute the air, considering how much breathing we do between us. And I’m opposed to deforestation because I was raised on a heavily wooded rural property and I like them. They’re nature’s playground, minus the dirty needles (usually). But isn’t that incentive enough? Do we really need to approach conservation like balancing a giant carbon-emissions chequebook? Do we need to scare people into thinking their ute’s going to tear a hole in the ozone layer, through which the Whore of Babylon will ride a seven-headed beast and usher in the End Times? I’d think it’d be far easier and more sensible to say, ‘Hey, don’t dump those chemicals in the ocean – we need that shit for fish!’ Less Sarah Hanson-Young, more Robert Borsak. (And don’t even pretend you wouldn’t go for more Robert Borsak.)