Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Being green, "is not cool anymore"...

...Today's climate change hysteria is on the wane; in spite of greenpeace agitprop, James Hansen's scare mongering and media adoration of bad news... there is an increasing and ongoing dissent within political and environmental circles, and a palpable sense of boredom about doomsday scenarios. In this essay by Steven Hayward, a clear parallell with "yesterday's crisis mongers" (the 60's and 70's population control movement) is clearly evident...

...More than 30 years ago political scientist Anthony Downs wrote in the Public Interest of a five-step "issue-attention cycle" through which public enthusiasm for an issue gradually diminishes as we come to recognize the high cost of drastic action, and that the nature of the problem was exaggerated or misconceived. The environment, he wrote, would have a longer cycle than most issues because of its diffuse nature, but it appears that the public is finally arriving at the late stages of Downs's cycle. Opinion surveys show that the public isn't jumping on the global warming bandwagon despite a multi-million dollar marketing campaign and full-scale media hysteria. More broadly there are signs that "green fatigue" is setting in. Magazine publishers recently reported that their special Earth Day "green" issues generated the lowest newsstand sales of all issues published in 2008. "Suddenly Being Green Is Not Cool Any More," read a London Times headline in August....

... A few environmentalists on the left understand the profound defects of the radical green approach to politics, along with the conventional green approach to global warming. Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, self-described "progressives" and authors of one of the most challenging recent books on the environment, Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility, recognize and lament the authoritarianism of conventional environmentalism. "Environmental tales of tragedy begin with Nature in harmony and almost always end in quasi-authoritarian politics," Nordhaus and Shellenberger observe. While environmentalists like Eckersley embrace the postmodern language of "privilege" to denigrate traditional individual rights, Nordhaus and Shellenberger point up the obvious irony that it is environmentalism that is making the boldest claim to be given the most privileged position in politics: "The problem is not simply that it is difficult to answer the question ‘Who speaks for nature?' but rather that there is something profoundly wrong with the question itself. It rests on the premise that some people are better able to speak for nature, the environment, or a particular place than others. This assumption is profoundly authoritarian." ...more (well worth a read) here...


2 comments:

MK said...

I always say, scratch a hardcore greenie and sooner rather than later you'll find a human-hating, totalitarian fascist.

I sure hope this global warming bull is nearing the end of the cycle cos it can't end fast enough for me. Personally i think it's because a year or so ago, it didn't cost anything to feel all warm and fuzzy about mother nature. Any fool could just say, oh the government must do something to save the planet, because it wasn't going to cost the fool anything. At least that's how it was framed.

But things have changed now, economies are in the crapper, jobs are on the line, people are getting fired and what's worse, it's still bloody cold when it's supposed to be summer. So people are starting to wonder, if we keep foisting all these taxes onto business and they have to cut costs, that'll mean that i'll be out of a job soon to save gaia, or supposedly save her.

Nothing sobers one up quite like having to physically pay for your ignorance.

Here's to hoping the green scourge is behind us.

Ayrdale said...

The green scenario has held the holier than thou high ground for a long time, and with embedded green schoolteachers it won't evaporate easily.

The deaths from bushfires may be another wake up call to the community that so called green thinking can come at a dreadful price.

I despise the sanctimonious greens who subvert the genuine greenie within us all, the hatred of waste and pollution doesn't need their bullshit to make it worthy.