The Slow Death of Environmentalism

Where 25 years ago the environment was considered everyone’s domain, it has since been hijacked by the left.

Would you describe yourself as an ‘environmentalist’? I would, mainly to annoy greenies, but also because it’s true. If your definition of an environmentalist is someone who loves immersing himself in the natural world, makes a study of its ways and cares deeply about its future, I’m at least as much of one as David Attenborough.

But I can see why many fellow nature lovers might balk at the term, especially now that it has become so grievously politicised. That would explain the recent Gallup poll — it was taken in the US but I suspect it applies to Britain too — showing how dramatically this label has plunged in popularity. In 1991 the majority of Americans self-identified as environmentalists — 78 per cent of them. Now, it’s just 42 per cent: less than half.

Why has the term so fallen out of favour? Well there’s perhaps a clue in the fact that the decline has been far more precipitous among Republicans (down to 27 per cent) than among Democrats (down to 56 per cent). In other words, where 25 years ago the environment was considered everyone’s domain, it has since been hijacked by the left and turned into yet another partisan issue.

If you believe the greenies, the blame for this lies with an intransigent right so imprisoned by ideology that it stubbornly denies ‘the science’. Actually, though, I’d say it has more to do with the militant left exploiting environmentalism as a fashionable cloak for its ongoing war on liberty, free markets and small government.

Note the tactics. Like the Viet Minh or the Taleban, the environmental movement has become hugely skilled in the art of asymmetric warfare. The number of true believers is much smaller than you’d think — but they’ve managed in recent years to punch massively above their weight by infiltrating all the key positions of influence and by terrorising those who disagree with them.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

RIP Bob Carter: The Geologist Who Always Knew ‘Global Warming’ Was a Crock

Bob had known for years that man-made global warming theory was a crock. As a brilliant earth scientist – until 1998 he was head of the geology department at James Cook University in Australia – he understood perfectly well that on the geological scale our planet has experienced shifts in climate of a magnitude so vast as to make a mockery of the notion that humans can influence or control it.

His mistake was to admit this in public rather than keep schtum and take the money. As a result, Bob’s university decided to punish him for his heresy with a series of petty slights:

First  James Cook University (JCU) took away his office, then they took his title. In protest at that, another professor hired Bob immediately for an hour a week so Bob could continue supervising students and keep his library access. But that was blocked as well, even the library pass and his email account were taken away, though they cost the University almost nothing.

James Cook University didn’t even bother to pretend to be interested in whether or not Bob was right. All that mattered to JCU is that Bob’s views were not politically correct – and that therefore this might jeopardise their image:

The only reasons given were that the staff of the School of Earth and Environmental Studies had discussed the issue (without any consultation with Carter) and decided that his views on climate change did not fit well within the School’s own teaching and research activities. Apparently it took up too much time to defend Carter against outside complaints about his public writings and lectures on climate change. (Busy executives don’t have time to say “Why don’t you ask Carter yourself?” or “We value vigorous debate here.” Presumably they are too busy practising their lines and learning the litany? )

The harrying of sceptics is commonplace in academe. (See, for example, the even more shocking treatment of Willie Soon).

Read the rest at Breitbart.